An Investigation into the Japanese Notion of 'Ma': Practicing Sculpture within Space-time Dialogues

By:
Miss Sachiyo Goda
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The ancient Japanese space-time idea of ‘Ma’ has many aspects, not only in cultural and philosophical contexts, but also in everyday life. The term refers to a meaningful gap or void and is used in disciplines as diverse as architecture, the martial arts, performing arts, and psychoanalysis. In my research project a practicing sculptor turns her attention to the form of ‘Ma’ traditional said to reside in the interaction of intersubjective selves within verbal conversation.

The aim of the research is to establish and examine new applications of ‘conversational Ma’ within the different levels of dialogue that occur between a sculptor and her work at the point of studio production and, when the conversation has been concluded, between gallery audience and a completed artwork.

My main focus in this workshop will be to describe the cross-cultural potential of ‘Ma’that the work of some Western philosophers (e.g. Husserl on ‘intersubjectivity’, or Buber on ‘I and Thou’) may address Ma-like time-space experience in non-Japanese terms, and to conduct an interactive experiment with an audience using ‘Ma’ principles.


Keywords: Ma, Intersubjectivity, I and Thou, Interaction
Stream: Art in Communities
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Miss Sachiyo Goda

PhD Student, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Northumbria University
Newcastle uopn Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK

While devoting to cultural activities as well as producing artworks as a member of an artist group, I found it increasingly necessary to think about a dynamic relationship between an audience, a produced artwork and myself as a sculptor. I am exploring the impact of a Japanese space-time idea 'Ma' on an artist's engagement with her methods, her material and her audience or the potential of the term as an evolving idea that would flourish amongst non-Japanese artists in new cultural contexts.

Ref: A06P0387