I am primarily interested in social services projects. Following the belief that works of art do not necessarily have to be objects, I am working on projects that incorporate direct communication with people. However, as viewers often experience problems in identifying such intangible projects with artworks, in my attempt to find new ways of expression, I conceive my works as tools, which can be immediately recognised as art by any viewer.
My work is thus engaged in providing social services, which may lead to a form of art activism. I believe that this approach favours the emergence of an advanced form of insubstantial art, echoing the forging of a new mentality and social change in the near future.
From a distance they resemble winter snow palaces. But those who approach Yoshiaki Kaihatsu's large and luminous sculptures encounter styrofoam as building material. Not just any styrofoam but molded packaging material that once protected consumer goods from damage in transit. Under Kaihatsu's hands, it transforms into temples, a tea house or abstract sculptures that can all be entered. Like UFOs, these architectures glow from within, giving them a touch of science-fiction. In a "negative" way, they represent two things at the same time. On the one hand, they are literally negative forms. On the other, their material and lighting include the ambiguities and uncertainties of a "bright future".
The artist faced the dangers of such a future directly with a work not made from styrofoam. This time Kaihatsu built a small wooden house near the evacuated village of Idate, not far from the reactor ruin of Fukushima. He invited politicians to stay there to reflect on the consequences of the devastating tsunami and other tragic events such as 9/11. Yoshiaki Kaihatsu has once compared his art with social service, which he conceives not as objects but as tools "that are immediately recognized by every viewer as works of art, in an effort to develop new forms of expression."