Shuta Hasunuma Compositions

Shuta Hasunuma’s solo exhibition compositions was held from February 23 to April 8, 2018 at Pioneer Works, a cultural center located in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood.
This exhibition – the artist’s first solo exhibition in the States – revolved around new work created over his residency at the center.
To celebrate his first solo exhibition in New York, there was an opening event where Hasunuma would perform with U-zhaan, a Japanese tabla player who worked with Hasunuma on their collaborative album 2 Tone.


Spanning Pioneer Works’ second and third floor galleries, Shuta Hasunuma’s Composition marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States, and revolves around new work produced over Hasunuma’s residency at Pioneer Works.

The artist’s broad musical output ranges from compositions for his own ensemble, the Shuta Hasunuma Philharmonic Orchestra, to commissioned music for theater, dance, film and other disciplines that centers on environmental and electronic sounds, as well as the space they occupy with human beings. He has also engaged in extensive collaborations with many international musicians. At the heart of these pursuits is the molding, arranging, and visualizing of sounds within time and space. Hasunuma raises the question: how can something intangible like sound or music be transferred between human being in physical, material form?

Creating situations and environments that bring together people of different ages, genders and ethnicities, Hasunuma’s work attempts to establish afresh exactly what it is we call “sound” or “music.” Through wide-ranging expression, Hasunuma probes new perspectives from which to consider the circumstances and frameworks surrounding today’s society.

Pioneer Works

23 February – 8 April, 2018
Pioneer Works
159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Pioneer Works
Takehiro Goto
Project management
Toshi Shibata / Ryu Takahashi
Special thanks to
Dustin Yellin,Gabriel Florenz,David Everitt Howe,Vivian Chui,Justin Frye,James Clark,Michael Kelly,Hiroshi Sunairi,Gabe Rubin,Jade Payne,Ken Farmer,Rui Ishiguro

Opening Reception / Performance

19:00 – 21:00 February 23, 2018
Pioneer Works 1F North Hall
Shuta Hasunuma & U-zhaan

Installation view

Camera : Takehiro Goto
Edit : So Isobe

  • Fluid Compositions

    Water-filled 77 bottles, Instruction

    • “Pick a water-filled bottle. Move and place it wherever you like on this floor in this room.”

    77 bottles containing in total 53.9 kilograms of water – Hasunuma’s own weight – are moved around by the visitors inside the exhibition space. The room thus becomes a score, and the bottles the notes on the score; as the arrangement of these “notes” changes over time, so too does the space’s “composition.” The water in the bottles evaporates over the course of the exhibition and becomes mixed with the air, just as sound does.

  • Boomerang

    Single channel video, Sound, Monitor

     In this piece recorded in Tokyo, Aomori and Beijing, Hasunuma asked people involved with the project in each city to listen to a melody of his creation and sing along to it concurrently. The work demonstrates how a melody becomes altered when mediated by a human being. Although here the chosen subject is melody, this process in which output is altered when passed through different human beings applies to many other things that we supposedly hold in common.
    We must never cease to question fixed ideas, living instead by our own judgment.

  • Walking Score in Tokyo, Beijing, New York

    Single channel video, Microphone, Cable, Map

    • Cinematographer(Tokyo,Beijing) : Yuma Maehara
    • Cinematographers (New York) : Retsu Motoyoshi, Yuichi Uchida

    Hasunuma conducts fieldwork around the venues of his exhibitions, researching the nearby environments through field recording.
    The recording, however, is carried out by dragging a microphone along the street in this humorous series of sound and video works, almost literally “recording the field.” Walking around an environment in person is a valuable way of learning directly about an environment.
    Walking Score manifests this process in the medium of video through the process of recording sound.

  • Studies

    Mixed media, 2 channel video and Music
    26:15, 36:03

    • Players:Nobutaka Aozaki, Christina Daniels, Becky Elmquist, Shuta Hasunuma, David Everitt Howe, Michael Kelly, Nate Lewis, Ethan Primason, Gabe Rubin, Toccarra Thomas

    For the filming of Studies, four sculptures, a number of objects, a tambourine and a tone chime were arranged inside the North Hall on the first floor of Pioneer Works; 10 people were then asked to improvise with these items, producing sounds for a few minutes. The 10 performers are mainly Pioneer Works employees and people associated with the venue in some way, selected randomly without consideration of their musical ability, gender, age or nationality. The recorded sound and video have been edited into two videos with respective audio tracks, which are exhibited as an installation piece alongside the sculptures.

  • Opening Performance

    23 February, 2018
    Shuta Hasunuma × U-zhaan
    Pioneer Works / North Hall