Osaka Brand Committee
Outenin Temple
Outenin Temple
digmeout (Dig-Me-Out) Installment 1
Avant-Garde x Entertaining x Open-Air Theater → Ishinha
Etching x Pastel → Sumako Yasui
Artist x Craftsperson → Yoko Matsumoto
Jokes x Art → Gendai Bijutsu Nitouhei
Sculpture x Flexibility → Kohei Nawa
Installations x Images → Chie Matsui
World Exhibition (Banpaku) x Future Ruins → Kenji Yanobe
Drive x Noise → Rogue’s Gallery
Self-Portrait x Art History → Yasumasa Morimura
 Listen (= Sound) x View (= Art) → Yukio Fujimoto
Yodogawa x Trash x Art→Yodogawa Technique
Biolgical field
Water city
Osaka Kaleidoscope
Drive x Noise → Rogue’s Gallery

“Anything goes” is probably one of the characteristics that best describes contemporary art. No work really needs to be categorized in paintings, carvings, or any conventional genres. Materials also can be anything. In this column, we have featured artists who use a variety of materials, from trash (Yodogawa Technique) to sound (Yukio Fujimoto) to art history (Yasumasa Morimura). Another pair of artists I’d like to introduce here also uses unexpectedly unique materials that do not fit an ordinary genre--a car and sound. What kind of art can such a combination of driving and audio create?

Named in a bit of a controversial way, Rogue’s Gallery was formed in 1993 by Yasuhiko Hamachi and Yukihisa Nakase. Both Hamachi and Nakase were senior high school students when they first met four years earlier at the summer school of Osaka University of Arts. Connecting to each other by talking over music, the two entered the college together, became members of the same music club, and devoted themselves to exploring art, music, and movies. They were strongly attracted to something that was not categorized in conventional genres or explainable with ordinary words; Survival Research Labs (SRL), which is known for fierce fighting performances between hand-made robots, or so-called noise music played by BOREDOMS, are among such radical expressions that particularly appealed to them.
One day, Hamachi and Nakase made a significant discovery while they were driving a car. As they were checking a used FM transmitter that they had just bought from a used parts shop, it made a howling noise, which seemed to change the view from the car window. Inspired enough by the finding, the two eventually created a unique style of experimental performance, in which an audience rides in their car (Citroen XM-X), which is carrying high-quality audio equipment, and listens to various machine noises from the car that are enhanced with added effects through the equipment. Calling it “Gasoline Music & Cruising,” the two officially started the performance in 1994.

  The cruise is conducted like this: after meeting the two at a certain place, the audience gets into the rear of the car. Hamachi drives the car, while Nakase performs mixing. The maximum number of audience members is two per cruise. As the car continues on a planned course and increases speed, a loud enhanced sound of machine noises, namely engines and turn signals, surrounds the audience. As the streaming views from the windows, booming sounds, and vibration from the car seat are combined, the mere driving sensation transforms into an artistic experience of the unseen world, which the audience is allowed to glimpse through speed and sound.
The duo has conducted approximately 300 driving performances for 600 people thus far. They also perform in a parked car, titled “Demonstration,” and also an installation project, “RESIDUAL NOISE,” outside the car using only the audio equipment.
Currently, Hamachi and Nakase are on their national tour, titled “Gasoline Music & Cruising Across Japan Tour 2006-2007.” The tour started in Hokkaido in September 2006, has visited Aomori, Aichi, Kanagawa, Kagawa, Wakayama, Hyogo, Hiroshima, Kochi and Okayama, and will also cover Yamaguchi and Kyushu. As the name of Rogue’s Gallery has become known nationwide, more people in Osaka should realize and be proud that our community has created this super-unique artist group.

October 15, 2007
Text by Takafumi Kobuki, a freelance art writer
Image: Courtesy of spacelab 2006n

Rogue’s Gallery Profile

Formed in 1993 by Yasuhiko Hamachi and Yukihisa Nakase. Started “Gasoline Music Cruising” performance in 1994. Received “Kirin Contemporary Award” encouragement prize (1994) and “The 2nd Tokyo Trash Art Award” excellence award (1997). Participated in many special exhibitions at Art Tower Mito, FUKUI CITY ART MUSEUM, Ashiya City Museum of Art and History, Art Gallery of Tokyo Opera City, and more.

Performance schedule

“Gasoline Music & Cruising Across Japan Tour 2006-2007” in Yamaguchi
Dec. 1 (Sat.) - Dec. 16 (Sun.) *Details to be determined
Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media
7-7 Nakazono-cho, Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi
TEL: 083-901-2222

“Nomat Project #4”
Jan. 12 (Sat.) - Feb. 2 (Sat.), 2008
Closed on Sunday and public holidays
11:00 - 19:00 (13:00 - 19:00 for Saturday)
Nomart Project Space
3-5-22 Nagata, Joto-ku, Osaka-shi
TEL: 06-6967-1354

Author Profile

Takafumi Kobuki
Worked as an editor for an information magazine and became a freelancer in 2005. Writes art-related articles for Kyoto Shimbun, Bijutsu Techo, Pia Kansai, ELLE, artscape (online) and more.
Personal website: “Katte-ni RECOMMEND”
Personal blog: “Takafumi Kobuki: Art-no Kobujime”