28 Sep Jesse Freeman Exhibition at UltraSuperNew
Jesse Freeman is from Maryland and has lived in Tokyo for 13 years. After falling in love with literature, Jesse developed four artistic mediums: photography, filmmaking, ikebana and collage.
Having lived in Japan for many years, Jesse has a unique outside perspective on socio-political topics that affect the Black community in America. He found that collaging provided a more direct form of expression to address these topics.
A multi-media exhibition exploring the existential ramifications of one’s place within the confines of society and the realization of one’s identity in it.
Artist Statement: ““I Am I Be” came together over the last couple of months. It began with an idea to do a quilt with the Socrates quote, “I ask to be no other than the one that I am” coded into it as a philosophical start point that incidentally became the exhibition’s concluding sentiment.
At the time, I was reading and became interested in the absurdity of a lesser known Abe Kobo novel, The Box Man where there was this phenomenon of people throwing their lives away to live in boxes. In sorts it felt the exact opposite from my condition back in the US. Finally, in recently viewing Jean-Micheal Basquiat’s late work, “Riding with Death”…just the space, the disjointedness/disfiguration, and that drab palette really hit me differently.
The week of accepting this show, I lost my job and with it my next visa, had a relationship I began to become emotionally invested in abruptly end, and just continual problems from back home that served to create this stasis of “I Am I Be.”
Jesse Freeman’s exhibition “I am I be” at the UltraSuperNew Gallery in Tokyo was a multimedia exploration of existential themes, particularly focusing on the individual’s place within society and the realization of one’s identity. The exhibition, which ran from September 26 to October 12, 2023, was a reflection of Freeman’s deep interest in Japanese literature and his philosophical inclinations.
The exhibit was inspired by a diverse range of sources, including the philosophical thoughts of Socrates, the novel “The Box Man” by Abe Kobo, and Jean-Michael Basquiat’s artwork “Riding with Death”. Freeman’s work in “I am I be” delved into the concepts of space and disfiguration, offering an introspective journey for the visitors. The personal challenges Freeman faced during the conception of the show, including the loss of his job and end of a relationship, further imbued the exhibition with a sense of introspection and self-realization.
The pieces on display at the UltraSuperNew Gallery were not only a representation of Freeman’s artistic skills but also a profound commentary on the human condition, particularly the struggle for identity and meaning within the constraints of society. Visitors were invited to engage with the artworks and contemplate their thoughts and place in the world.
Freeman’s exhibition “I am I be” was an opportunity for viewers to experience a unique blend of art, philosophy, and personal narrative, all woven together in a multimedia format. The exhibition’s free admission made it accessible to a wide audience, encouraging a diverse range of visitors to engage with the thought-provoking themes presented.