Kyoko Hamaguchi in conversation with Rossella Farinotti

During the artist’s visit to Milan for the opening of her solo show she chatted with curator Rossella Farinotti about her upcoming project.

Milano Art Guide
On Sep 5, 2021, at 1:15 PM, Kyoko Hamaguchi wrote:

I’ll send you pics of things once I take (I haven’t been able to explore the city yet as I was in the darkroom all day all week ?)! I’m planning to go to The Last Supper this Tuesday! I’m so excited to finally meet Leonardo!!! Yes, I’ll spend some time around that area. I’ll check out the courtyard too!

On Sep 5, 2021, at 1:20 PM, Rossella Farinotti wrote:
On Sep 5, 2021, at 1:21 PM, Kyoko Hamaguchi wrote:


There’s palm tree? ?

On Sep 5, 2021, at 1:23 PM, Rossella Farinotti wrote:

Yes, Ahah

Palms tree were popular in Milano since The renaissance time ad a symbol of exotism and prosperity. It was symbolic. It’s weird to see them in north Italy. In duomo square there are palms too ?

On Sep 5, 2021, at 1:25 PM, Kyoko Hamaguchi wrote:

Wow I see I didn’t associate palm trees with Milan but it’s to bring exoticism. I’ll look for them at the courtyard and Duomo square ??

On Sep 7, 2021, at 1:21 PM, Rossella Farinotti wrote:

Ciao Kyoko,

here I am. Maybe we we will publish these few lines of written exchange for the show. It could be together with my text. In that I gave a panoramic view of your work and approach towards reality. Both dealing with your  technical inventions, then the poetics of the works. Which is even more important, and tangible. The fact that you have this urgency to impress reality wherever you go, to frame whatever is around you, but in a very abstract way – as, at the end, is actually how things remain inside ourselves, is really stimulating and personal. 

I would like to ask you, first of all, if Milano has something different, or in common, in comparison to the other cities you have been working in. What are the first aesthetic details that come into your mind thinking about these last days?

(I was thinking about the fascination for Palms in Milano that you have ahah since our whatsapp message ahah)


Il giorno 8 set 2021, alle ore 11:26, Kyoko Hamaguchi ha scritto:

Hi Rossella!

Thank you so much for writing my press release and for the conversation! Can’t wait to read what you wrote about my works! 

For what I’ve noticed in Milan is so many objects, streets, buildings – everything has been shaved and erased by wind and rain in a long long time and has changed their shapes that still remain, and they all sort of look similar – all look very smooth and abstract in a way. (I’ve attached photos!) In Tokyo or NYC where I came from, everything exists in a moment and is very representative (not abstract).  I thought the way of things in Milan is like a long exposure photograph like I do all the time. Instead of taking a moment and express representation of a moment, it shows you the accumulation of time abstractly.

And I see a lot of cigarette butts stuck in dents on streets also made by erosion for a long time. I thought it’s kind of an interesting combination. (I’ve attached photos)

Also a lot of things have a vivid yellow color. Poste Italiane of course, also the city bikes, scooter. I wonder if yellow is Milan’s city color or something.

Please let me know if you have any questions 🙂

All the best,


Il giorno 8 set 2021, alle ore 16:05, Rossella Farinotti ha scritto:

I see what you are saying. And I agree with you: Milano is  made by layers and layers of eras. From the roman period to medieval time – did you go to the Basiliche neighborhood? Where are Sant’Eustorgio and Sant’Ambrogio ? These amazing churches represent the origin of the city, and Ambrogio was our patron. You can also see some Roman ruins – via Circo for example, there are still a few ruins of the ancient circus. Amazing. Also because around them you can see Milano from the 50’s, the city that spread out during the economic boom period after war war two … and then again the one of the renaissance time, and then of the Liberty period, until fascism. It is all a back and forth in time. 

Italy is of course all like this. And inside astonishing cities such as Rome or Venice is even more tangible. But Milano is special because it is smaller, and you have to find these treasures. For instance: the city is also famous for its inner private gardens. Did you have the chance to find out some of them?

Il giorno 8 set 2021, alle ore 16:05, Rossella Farinotti ha scritto:

I like these pictures. It is like you are developing traces as in a diary,


On Sep 11, 2021, at 2:25 PM, Rossella Farinotti wrote:

Kyoko ciao, I have a question that I’ve been thinking about since we met yesterday at the group exhibition. Did you change your original idea of the installation of your solo show after all the things you saw and absorbed in Milan?

And also, did you like our visit at the Cittadella degli Archivi? They were really excited to have you there. And they were nice to lend us those grey bins for the exhibition!


Il giorno 11 set 2021, alle ore 17:08, Kyoko Hamaguchi ha scritto:

Hi Rossella!

Thank you so much for the visit at the gallery together yesterday! 

Yes, I changed the shape of my work Sanctuary inspired by a lot of houses in Milan that have balconies with plants!

Also, all of my work is sort of absorbing my experience in Milan (like riding trails, shipping boxes) so there’s a lot of unexpected elements I found in the results and I’m very excited about it! For example, the Milan Metro has about 30 minutes to go from end to end, and apparently this amount of time is perfect for my project because all the results came out pretty well. (It’s hard to explain in the email, but I’ll explain it to you when we see the photos together on Monday!)  

And I’m very very inspired by our visit to the City Archives. I’m so thankful to you and Francesco who gave me the rare opportunity to see their massive archives. Also I love the bins they borrowed us for pedestals!

Thank you so much for all your help!!!

And talk to you more soon! 



Rossella Farinotti is an Italian art critic, curator and writer, the co-author of the film encyclopedia Il Farinotti, contributor to Flash Art Italia, Exibart, Mymovies and Zero, and the author of “il Quadro che visse due volte” (Morellini Publishing, 2013).