Hi I am Takeshi, CEO and the arty-scientist of su-re.co.
I still think of myself as a scientist, but there are a lot of people out there who don't think so ;-). I think that's because I run a company and love my business. Aside from being a scientist, my other identities are a surfer and an artist (with a bit of hesitation...).
It's no wonder that I have such diverse attributes in my genes. My father was a businessman who rode motorbikes and travels other prefectures to sell textile. from the age of 14. He started business into China before everyone else turned their attention to the current No 2 in the world and handled 75% of the suits that went into Japan at one point. But I know from a young age that the real situation was not always so good.
The women on her mother's side of the family are all artists, and my mother does everything from tea ceremony, to Ikebana, haiku and calligraphy. Recently she has taken up the piano at the age of 65. The men on my mother's side are professors at famous Japanese universities and scientists at major corporations.
In other words, all that blood came together to make me the person I am today, and to set up su-re.co. Actually, I wanated to be a professional artist and then adventurer, but all failt so I decieded to be a scientist or Japanese Indiana Jones ;-).
In Bali, if I say "I am an artist", you are just passing through as they are wandering as much as offerings on Bali's street. When I say "I am a scientist", people think I am a madman and I am doing amazing art. When I show such people my tree houses and upcycled office, I am making them very happy. And I may or may not think of selling the objects I happen to have made out of scrap wood to them.
Anyway, in Oxford you will find more PhDs than you will find dog poop on the roadside. You will meet artists in Bali about the same frequency. Having said that when you take off those coloured glasses, you will realised that the level is quite high.
A few years ago, there was an event that showed the level and power of such art. There was a plan to bury seven mangrove units on the south side of Bali. Udayana University, where I am also a visiting professor, announced that there would be an impact on the ecosystem, so the development company had another 2nd class university wrote another report for their convenient environmental assessment. Angry at this, local artists raised their voices and brushes and used the power of art to campaign against the landfill project.
Here is a summary of how Fabian, a member of su-re.co staff, wrote:
Indonesia’s Case: Stopping Bali Reclamation Project with Music and Poetry
In December 2012, the governor of Bali granted private investor PT Tirta Wahana Bali Internasional (TWBI) permission to develop and reclaim Benoa Bay as part of an integrated tourist development area. The company planned to build luxury tourist facilities, including a Disneyland-like theme park, apartments, hotels, villas, entertainment centers, a hospital and a university campus covering up to 838 hectares. However, the plan sparked controversy from locals and environmentalists, as it would clear out the mangrove ecosystem, potentially increase the seawater levels and affect many fisherman’s livelihood. Hundreds of people have staged a rally in Denpasar to reject the planned reclamation project featuring both traditional and modern performances. Poet Wayan Sunarta, more commonly known as Jengki from the Balinese Forum Against Reclamation (ForBali) read out a poem Sajak Seorang Tua di Bawah Pohon (An old people's poem under the tree) by well-known Indonesian poet WS Rendra. The rally also featured a variety of dance performances, including traditional Jempiring, Cendrawasih, Barong and Topeng (Mask) performed by a variety of groups. Music was provided by the Deep Sea Explorer band. The rally continues with the protest movement ForBALI, hosting demonstrations and live music every month to raise awareness about the issue. With over 3,000 people, the movement is filled with a diverse group of locals ranging from academics to musicians, including some of the island’s most renowned bands, such as the punk outfit Superman Is Dead, and the folk and pop group Nosstress. Art has united the locals to conserve the environment and stopped the reclamation project in 2018.
I was honestly surprised that this art activity actually eliminated this reclamation project. Looking at the economic assessment as well as the environmental assessment, I'm glad we didn't do this reclamation project. If you look at the reclamation project in Dubai, as well as the devastation to the tourism industry due to this year's corona, it is clear that it was unprofitable. But projects like this one, which are likely to cause environmental destruction on a large scale, are still in the pipeline. When that happens, I want to be good enough to participate in them as an artist as well as a scientist. Now I shall paint again tonight before going to bed.