The Symbol

drawing series


By constitution, the Emperor of Japan is a symbol of the State. Biologically, of course he is a human being, yet, in the social space, his body is constrained for this big role given to him. Our brain perceives, recognizes and reads the other’s face as set of signs, like smiling face, angry face, sad face, serious face, and nose, eyes, mouths, and so on… We read the coordination of these signs spread on other’s face to communicate, understand and express. Koizumi deformed the portrait of the Emperor drew in charcoal with eraser. He disfigured the signs on the Emperor’s face, canceling any emotions and create a symbol that nobody recognizes.