A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Tsuchiya, Toyo

Other Names: 土屋豊幸


"I left Japan with a three-month travellers VISA on May 5, 1980. I have spent 12 winters in New York City since then. I lived 17 places all around Lower Manhattan. I have never been mugged, but my apartment has been mugged three times...I lost seven cameras.

"1980-82 Everything was new to me. I was like a child. Even without a clear objective. I was busy enjoying everyday life. My camera was like another eye or another arm. I carried it with me all the time, like identification, and documented what I saw.

"1982-85 I spent my nights making performance photographs. In 1983, I met Ray Kelly (Founder of No Se No and The Rivington School) at the No Se No 99 Nites Summer Fun Club. My connection with performance photography crystallized. I shot my photographs from within the subject, not as an outsider. From this time I began exhibiting my work in the East Village. I had two one man shows in 1983 and two in 1985. These years were very important in the development of the East Village art scene. Many artists recognized me and work.

"In 1985, I moved into the No Se No Social Club, and I started directing Gallery show for the Rivington School and documented their activity. With Ray Kelly and other artists friends, the No Se No Rivington School sculpture garden project began in the empty lot next door at the corner of Rivington and Forsyth Streets. A junk monument of welded urban garbage rose up.

"I found my place in a situation where I could use my photographs and bring out something new. I believe No Se No and the Rivington School movement are the bottom line of the New York art world in the 1980's.

"First Rivington sculpture garden was bulldozed by a private developer in November 1987. The second garden, on the same block as the first, was opened in 1987 and is going to be bulldozed by the City of New York in June 1992."

Toyo Tsuchiya, June 1992

Gallery of Selected Works

Selected Documents

Other Links

View artist folder list at Asian American Arts Centre