Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce the grand opening of the BUG art center on September 20th. Our momentous inaugural exhibition, titled A Q & I,  features the works of artist Yousuke Amemiya. We are pleased to have had several opportunities to support Amemiya as he built his artistic career: he received the grand prize for the 15th Graphic Art Hitotsubo Exhibition in 2000, and in 2011 he was awarded a scholarship from Ezoe Memorial Recruit Foundation to study in the Netherlands. After his time in the Netherlands, Amemiya relocated to Berlin, Germany, where he continued his artistic pursuits. His interdisciplinary method—which incorporates painting, sculpture, video, and performance—can be seen as a practice that disrupts the conventions and perceived universality of the world.

Perfectly Ordinary Stones, Carried For 1,300 Years, a project initiated in 2014 and set to continue for 1300 years, serves as a prime example of Amemiya’s approach. His outlook of using art to view and reconstruct the world resonates with BUG’s philosophy.

In this exhibition, Amemiya builds upon and develops his previous endeavors, creating occurrences that ignite chemical reactions in a blank, open space.

About the exhibition
The meaning behind the exhibition title

The unusual title, A Q & I, differs significantly from the exhibition’s Japanese title. Each of the four evenly spaced letters and symbols has its own meaning, but together, their significance is amplified. “A” is the first letter of the artist’s family name, Amemiya. The sound of the letter “Q” is present in the Japanese title, and it can also be the shortened form of the word “Question.” “&” is a conjunction, equivalent to the hiragana letter “と” in the Japanese title. And, of course, the last letter “I” indicates “the self.” All in all, perhaps an expanded version of the title would be “Amemiya Question and I.” The “Question” that sits between the artist’s name and “the self” suggests a concept explored by Amemiya: “to cross a border before you know it.” The title promises that the exhibition will be full of new wonders that are reshaped through scrutinizing, questioning, and examining our mysterious world.

A public rehearsal toward a swan song

An artist’s final artwork or writing is called a swan song, referring to the cries of a dying swan. All of Amemiya’s artistic efforts, including this exhibition, are always part of the very long preparation for his swan song.

In his script sculpture series, which he began for this exhibition, Amemiya uses scripts from his previous works, combining them with the medium of sculpture, which is considered permanent and symbolic, while preserving the fragility and subtlety of language. The scripts themselves are to be produced through lecture performances, or performances that center the artist’s speech or communication with visitors at his exhibitions.

The idea of swan songs, or an artist’s final work, may seem somewhat gloomy, but this task that Amemiya has set—how to leave a legacy of works that will live much longer  than the individual—is a positive one. In other words, this exhibition asks how we can celebrate the absence of Amemiya as a performer and material in his works. Thursdays (October 5, 19, 26) will be considered lucky days, with hired performers taking over Amemiya’s role in his lecture performances. On September 30, Amemiya and a performer will both be present in preparation for the lucky days. Through these performances, visitors can witness the moment where one can perceive when “I” (Amemiya) and “You” (everyone else) transform into “We.” More trial and error than preparation, more active pursuit than an attempt, the artist’s firm determination and life full of detours, twists, and turns will dazzle beyond the parameters of the exhibition.

Yousuke Amemiya’s artistic challenge

Amemiya attempts to translate our world in this exhibition. With an installation of prior video works and a new script sculpture series, as well as lecture performances by the artist, the exhibition comprises a variety of elements including language, objects, and the body.

Ineffable events occur every day in our world, and we find ourselves confronted with emotions that cannot be put into words. We typically get by communicating with the closest language at hand.

Amemiya uses two methods of translation as means of expression: literal translation (where the grammar of the source text is translated faithfully) and free translation (where the meaning and impression of the source text is translated faithfully). By translating language as material or translating the body as language, at times directly and at times poetically, Amemiya asks where the limits of our world are, both for himself and for us.

This unconventional method of communication operates as something universal that transcends time and space, making the essence of artmaking visible.

Visitors will see Amemiya endeavor to be present in the space during the majority of the exhibition, his most ambitious since his return last year to Japan after living in Berlin. The exhibition will be ever-evolving, incorporating Amemiya’s motivations toward art making, which have been consistent since the start of his career, as well as personal matters such as his family and changes in his lifestyle.

About the Artist

Born in Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, in 1975, and lives in Yamanashi prefecture. He received the grand prize for the 15th Graphic Art Hitotsubo Exhibition. In 2011 he received a scholarship from the Ezoe Memorial Recruit Foundation to study in Europe, and completed his studies at the Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) in 2013. He continued his work in Amsterdam after being selected for the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ “Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists.” After relocating to Berlin, Germany, for some time, he returned to Japan in 2022.

His notable solo exhibitions include H&T. A,S&H. B&W. / Heel&Toe. Apple,Stone&Human. Black&White. at SNOW Contemporary in Tokyo (2021). Prominent group exhibitions include With the Soil: The World of “Agriculture” in Art from Millet, Van Gogh, Chu Asai to Contemporary Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, Ibraki (2023), Reborn-Art Festival 2021-22 at Hiyoriyama Park, formerly the Restaurant Kashima in Miyagi Prefecture (2021), and Apple Cycle / Cosmic Seed at Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art in Aomori Prefecture (2021).

"A Q & I" Teaser trailer

We interviewed Amemiya Yosuke ahead of the exhibition.

A short version, edited from the full interview, serves as a trailer for the exhibition!

Voice: Yousuke AMEMIYA
Shoot, edit by Naoki TAKEHISA
Shoot by Kotaro SAITO


2023.9.20WED  10.30MON

Opening Hours

11:00 — 19:00







About “For The Swan Song A”
“For The Swan Song A” has designated “Thursday is Lucky Day” in Amemiya’s absence,
and has set up agents as follows.

In order to make it a perfect lucky day, Amemiya conducts practices in advance.


Practice for Thursday is Lucky day
Performer, Dance artist, Choreographer


Thursday is Lucky day−For The Swan Song A, Agent of Yousuke AMEMIYA−

Rintaro FUSE



Percussion player



Pijin NEJI
Dancer, Choreographer
About “Live making of fruits sculpture”

“Live making of fruits sculpture” is performed by the following people.


Except every Saturdays and 29th October during the exhibition


23rd September, 28th 29th October



7th October



14th, 21st October

Yusuke KAJI
"A Q & I" × BUG Cafe Collaboration Menu

BUG collaborates with BUG Cafe (operated by HAGISO Inc.) to create exclusive menus for each exhibition.

The menu for this exhibition was created through a workshop held with the artist, exhibition staff, recipe developers, and cafe staff.


Inspired by the durational project Amemiya started in 2014, “Perfectly Ordinary Stones, Carried For 1,300 Years,” we imagined coffee 1,300 years in the future.  When might we realize that what we thought was coffee actually isn’t coffee? And at what point does it become something that isn’t coffee? Visitors can enjoy the exhibition with a cup of slightly unusual coffee!


※Available from 11 am.

※This menu does not take out


Price:850yen(tax included)