GAME ON (23)


Male friendship and On Kawara, it's a big theme in the artist's life. Or might come to be understood as such. See what you think by the end of this essay, which also focuses on how another artist, a ground-breaking and impeccable photographer, influenced the direction that On Kawara took his own distinctive oeuvre.

From the beginning of the 'I MET' series, Nobu Fukui, Hirotsugu Aoki and Soroku Toyoshima were On Kawara's principle friends in New York. Plus Takashi Hashimoto, of course. But from March 1970, Takashi was effectively out of the picture and off the 'I MET' lists. However, at the end of April of that year a new name started to appear. In fact, two names: a Japanese man and his wife: Ikko and Keiko Narahara. They would remain in On's inner circle for five calendar years, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974, before moving from New York to Tokyo. And since Tama University, Tokyo, has now made available all 'I MET' lists to the end of 1974, I feel this story can now be told in full. In so much as any story can be told in full where the raw data is so basic.

Here is the first 'I MET' list on which the Narahara names appear. Apologies for the lack of sharpness which results from the resolution of the reproduction that I've taken the liberty of copying:

e139gj7ispg9n6kvp0025rijg_thumb_f13a Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

How might one interpret the above document? To consult the concurrent self-observation series would seem to be a good starting point. On Kawara got up very early that day, at 4.57A.M.. He sent a postcard to Aoki at 97 Crosby Street, an address that On Kawara himself slept at (and 'GOT UP' at) occasionally, which is exactly what would happen re the Narahara address. Though I am leaving that complication for later in this essay.

The day's 'I WENT' map shows a lot of movement around Manhattan. You might think that Barbara Willa Brown (a photographer, and the ex-partner of Kasper König) introduced the Naraharas to On Kawara, but I strongly suspect that didn't happen. The next day On didn't get up until 3.01 P.M., which is suggestive of being up long after midnight. However, the Naraharas do not appear on the next day's 'I MET'. Only Hiroko and Barbara do. So the late night talking session (if that's what it was) was with Barbara, not the Naraharas, who perhaps were met earlier in the day.

On Kawara knew Ikko Narahara when they both lived and had careers as artists in Japan. An online article tells us that Ikko Narahara was born in 1931, two years before On Kawara. It goes on: 'In 1955, he joined the innovative artists group Real Existence. This group was headed by Masuo Ikeda and Ay-O, and it also gave Narahara the opportunity to deepen his connection to Ahuzo Takiguchi, as well as other artists like Tatsuo Ikeda and On Kawara.' On and Ikko were linked from their Japanese days, even if the above sentence linking them is suggestive rather than substantial.

Narahara spent a few years in Europe, choosing Paris as his base. Perhaps On Kawara knew him there too, as he travelled from Mexico via New York to Paris in the 60s. But clearly they hooked up in New York in 1970 once they realised that both were living there. Which they would have done from the moment of the Naraharas arrival, such was the strength of the Japanese artists' network in the city.

In May, On and Hiroko met the Naraharas on four occasions. (On was meeting Nobu, Aoki and Soroku roughly that often as well.) On two consecutive days On met Katsusuke Miyauchi during the same day as the Naraharas, Katsusuke being the Japanese traveller/writer that was so impressed with On's daily routine when he came across him in Mexico in 1968. It's possible that On introduced IKko Narahara to Katsusuke Miyauchi, but I won't dwell on that speculation as it doesn't get us anywhere. It might be different if I get a chance to communicate with Katsusuke at some stage. Is he still alive?

In June, On met the Naraharas a further three times, including June 13, when it was only Hiroko and the Naraharas that he met all day. The 'I WENT' suggests an address for the Naraharas, and this proves to be consistently the case, as on most occasions when On an Hiroko met the pair, it was at their accommodation. In other words, the following route became (and becomes) familiar:

10025xpfl3mramnn0cwc36r4w_thumb_f13f Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

That's On's address at 340 East 12th Street, where he'd been since September 1969, as well as before the trip to Mexico in 1968, at the southern end of the red biro circuit. And that's the Naraharas' address at 24 East 22nd Street, top left of the circuit.

But before I dig further into the data, why is the relationship with Ikko Narahara important? I hope to show that the reason that On Kawara went on road-trips across the United States from 1973 onwards, was because of the road-trips that Ikko Narahara made with Keiko, partly for photographic purposes, in 1971 and 1972. However, at this time, Ikko's best known published work consisted of Europe: Where Time Has Stopped. He had also taken photos in a monastery and in a woman's prison, both in Japan, that would ultimately be published in a book called Domains.

Maybe the reason that the Kawaras went to the Naraharas was so that Ikko could more easily show them his photographs. The one below is from a monastery. Or perhaps it's not. The caption suggests it's from another project. Anyway, it's a striking photograph.

cvyjslafracxqgnqvmj3vg_thumb_f096 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

This next photograph is from a woman's prison.

06bcsyumtvsqk6z6x0p002bea_thumb_f093 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

It reminds me (a bit) of On Kawara's paintings before he left Japan in 1959. I'm thinking specifically of Absentees, an oil on canvas from 1956, painted when On was in his early twenties.

znwrbszssgcud8dyxvmmvw_thumb_f142 Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

Wow, that's just about the first time I've reproduced a pre-New York On Kawara! It has the intensity of a Date Painting but is coming from a totally different mind-set. The human figure is present, however idealised.

Also from 1956 is the following photo from Ikko Narahara. Is it a woman's face? Could it be On Kawara? That is a joke. But it must have fascinated Ikko that his old friend had decided that there should be no photographs of his face in the public realm. He wanted to be known for his work, in particular the Date Paintings.

vz22w37qqwk9p6mlhocoig_thumb_f160 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

Old friends with - no doubt - a complicated back-story. But Japan was then, in the past; New York was now. And, I imagine that they (On and Hiroko and Ikko and Keiko) just loved talking about it, sharing their thoughts and ambitions. Having said that, the relationship for the rest of 1970 was fairly low key, On and Hiroko met the Naraharas at least once per month until mid-November, when On embarked on his solo trip to Japan.

When On got back at the beginning of February, 1971, he found himself included in an important exhibition of emerging artists at the Guggenheim. The 'I MET' list for February 15 includes many of the featured artists, And I'm presuming that Konrad Fischer had organised an event, as most, if not all, of the artists listed below (Ikko Narahara apart) belonged to his Dusseldorf stable.

m60ajvvbtpscho3cousxla_thumb_d315 Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

A study of the 'I WENT' shows that On didn't go near the Guggenheim that day, so this wasn't fellow artists being met at an opening. It shows On Kawara calling in at a few places in central Manhattan, one of which may have been a fancy restaurant that suited Konrad Fischer's networking purposes, another was the Naraharas' address.

y8dw8befrwodjeg0nmbj6a_thumb_f143 Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

So I would suggest that On Kawara attended a lunch or dinner with Konrad Fischer and the other selected artists, then went to the Naraharas to discuss it all. The next day On would meet Aoki. And a couple of days after that, he met Soroku. And within a week of the event, he'd met Nobu. So On Kawara saw all his close friends immediately after the Guggenheim event. Though it was the wisdom and experience of Ikko Narahara that he first consulted.

What was Ikko Narahara doing in 1971? He had begun to undertake road-trips and this evocative photo is from 1971:

q2q1u0pgr12p002b0itkbnmcw_thumb_f0a1 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

In the summer, the Naraharas went to a music festival in Louisiana, as detailed in the following paragraph.


The photos he took appeared in a 1972 book called Celebration of Life. It's cover reminds me of an album cover of the period, perhaps something by Pink Floyd or Yes.

rfbl4n0025fsqsgcwaqlj26tq_thumb_f147 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

I haven't seen the book (it is rare and expensive) but here is a quote from it by the photographer with the cool name, such a gift to a graphic artist:


That gives you an idea of this 40-year-old's personality. As do the photos themselves, which brim with a quirky aesthetic.

rtm6xjlprfsjuvqwbw3h6q_thumb_f0b6 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

Ikko Narahara is soaking up the vibe! What a classic shot this next one is. The band is black. The members of the audience are long-haired and lean. And they are no doubt high on weed or dope or acid, man.

iautprsqtzqnxe53rqwhzq_thumb_f0b7 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

Presumably Ikko and Keiko talked about their festival adventure both before and after experiencing it. What do the 'I MET' lists suggest? The festival photos were taken between June 23 and 27, 1971. The Naraharas had met the Kawaras at the former's address on June 13 and June 14. On's getting up times were 12.20P.M. and 11.24 A.M. on these days. Was he lying in bed stoned, listening to Jimi Hendrix?

Actually, On Kawara made a Date Painting during the festival itself: JUNE 24, 1971. It's subtitle is: 'In Washington, The New York Times asked the Supreme Court today to permit it to resume publication of material from the Pentagon study of the Vietnam war.'

And all the hippies raise their arms into the air and sing: "All we are saying, is give peace a chance."

After the event, the Naraharas and the Kawaras met up at the Naraharas place on July 7 and 8. On got up at 12.41pm on the 7th and 11.24AM again on the 8th.

On and Hiroko: "What are we listening to tonight?"

Ikko and Keiko: "John Lennon."

On and Hiroko: "Bring it on. And tell us more about your time in the Deep South. "

Ikko : "Music was only played at night so the most pleasurable thing to do in that tremendous heat was to go swimming, especially since we all swam in the nude. Being at the river, with all those people, laughing and naked in the water, made me think that we had returned to the time of an ancient mythology. Usually, when we look at each other in clothes we make evaluations but nakedness makes it difficult to distinguish people from each other. It makes everybody equal…"

t1zmfvypq002bslaakfrhdynq_thumb_f148 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

On: "Isn't that Keiko out of focus in the foreground, allowing you to discreetly take a photo of everyone else? How does that tally with you striking a fine balance between being a photographer and a participant?"

Ikko: "Surely it exemplifies it. There we are naked in the water. I happen to have my camera with me, and so I take the photo."

On: "You must have had to take great care of your camera. Did that not distract you from letting yourself go in the water?"

And so on until dawn.

The above quote that I've attributed to Ikko talking to On and Hiroko is actually from Celebration of Life. On met the Naraharas once in August (Soroku Toyoshima and Kasper König were met often); not at all in September (Kasper was met almost very day); once in October (Soroku was met 12 times); not at all in November (Soroku was met nine times and Kasper 13 times); and twice in December (again On was spending his time with Soroku and Kasper). That's a very clumsy sentence and comes from trying to write as I'm still doing the research. What I'm really trying to say is that, at this time, On was having particularly active conversations with Soroku Tokoshima, Kasper Konig and Ikko Narahara.

What follows is a monthly breakdown of the 'I MET' lists that the Naraharas appear on in 1972. (Soroku appeared a lot for the first ten months of the year and Kasper was regularly met until some international art business (I assume) took him out of New York from May.)

Jan: 5
Feb: 9
Mar: 7
April: 4
May: 8
June: 3
July: 0
Aug: 1
Sept: 0
Oct: 6
Nov: 11
Dec: 0

On met the Naraharas at their place three days in a row in February, from the 15th to the 17th. What were they doing? On wasn't Date Painting, but the subtitle of his most recent Date, FEB 12, 1971 was: 'The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse has unanimously decided to recommend that all criminal penalties for the private use and possession of marijuana in the United States be eliminated.' Perhaps On, Hiroko, Ikko and Keiko were getting high together.

On met the Naraharas five days in row in March, from March 9 to March 13. He Date Painted on two of those days but on every one of them he walked to the Naraharas place. In order to listen to music, talk politics and get stoned?

On met the Naraharas three days in a row in May, May 19 to 21. May 19 was a Date Painting day, On hardly left the flat, and the Naraharas, as well as Soroku Toyoshima, came to his studio at 340 East 13th Street. The subtitle reads: 'A huge crowd led by students gathered in Tananarive, Madagascar's capital, today and roared demands that President Philibert Tsiranaana resign within 24 hours.' On the 20th, On visited the Naraharas at their place and the Königs at theirs. On the 21st, the Naraharas again came round to visit On and Hiroko. On met no-one else that day.

On met the Naraharas four days in a row in November, from Nov. 19 to 22. He wasn't Date Painting during this period. He didn't meet anyone else more than once in those days, called in at the Naraharas flat each day, and did a lot of travelling around Manhattan. This is the pick of the I MET lists. Or it would be if it was sharp. I'm seeing a drug-induced haze!

hawex8hlqqmpmywnqepsaq_thumb_f14b Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

I imagine that the months (July, August, September) of almost no meetings were when the Naraharas were road-tripping. And of course it was in December of 1972, another unmet month, that On Kawara flew to Stockholm.

A few Ikko photos can be found online.

0yefvradqakcneejop9svw_thumb_f099 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

Surely, the above would have begun a conversation about NASA in the desert, On Kawara's activities in the studio from July 16 to July 20, 1969, and what the astronauts saw on the moon. In fact, when Ikko's photos were collected into a book in 1975, the title given to it was Stellar Memories.

yyyhxe0025002btycbwhionfhz0g_thumb_f0a0 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

Two competing versions of the American dream. One, the hippy vision. Two, the Apollo mission.

On: "Both are about freedom."

Ikko: "Both are about getting distance from war. Getting away from people killing other people. All we hippies are saying is give peace a chance."

On: "All the Apollo astronauts are saying is give space a chance."

Ikko: "Does space equate with peace? Shall we discuss that for the next ten hours?"

On: "Sure. Did you notice either Buzz Aldrin or Neil Armstrong at 'Celebration of Life'?"

Ikko: "I believe I did. Buzz was stoned and Armstrong was skinny-dipping. Or was it vice versa? Both repeated the axiom that neighbours, all neighbours, are for loving, not hating."

And so on until dawn.

Ikko was taking black and white shots of his road-trip adventures as well. And these are collected in Where Time Has Vanished, a title that obviously relates to the earlier book Europe: Where Time Has Stopped. .

How good is this next shot? Is that a caravan being towed or the command module of Apollo 11, three years after splashdown?

phamkqfgrwury190025cftxaq_thumb_f0a8 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

At the beginning of 1973, Hiroko went out to meet On in Stockholm and they went on from there to do a tour of Europe and West Africa. Not a road-trip though, as they flew between capital cities. They got back to New York on March 22 and stayed with the Naraharas for a couple of days. Might that have been On and Hiroko's turn to tell tales of travel and art? It seems that On and Hiroko had given up the rental of their studio at 340 East 13th Street, knowing they were going to be away for three months. Certainly, for a couple of days, the postcards went from the Narahara address, 24 East 22nd Street, before On and Hiroko transferred to Aoki's flat at 97 Crosby Street, as they had done in 1969 after returning from South America and staying a few days with Nobu and Miyuki Fukui.

jjifmhjysnuut3eqd4w3mg_thumb_f14c.thisbniisqsofeby3vnjmg_thumb_f14d Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

On and Hiroko remained in New York for just over a month, until May 13. Nobu must have been out of the city for he wasn't met. They met Aoki eighteen times in April/May, presumably because they were staying with him and his partner, Teresa O'Connor. A guy called Salvatore Polichetti may also have been staying in Aoki's loft because he was met almost as often. The other people met a significant number of times were Soroku (9 days) and the Naraharas (9 days).

On (and Hiroko, presumably) visited the Naraharas in the two days before leaving New York for Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he would be in residence at the bequest of Kasper König. This time on their return in August, they went straight to 97 Crosby Street, but only for three days. After that they stayed at 140 East 31st Street. I don't know whose address this was. It may have been rented by the Kawaras, but I think it's more likely to have been a friend's place, perhaps someone who was temporarily out of New York. Between August 29 and October 8, Nobu was met seven times, Aoki was met seven times, Soroku was met 15 times and the Naraharas were met 11 times. Fairly equal and substantial friendships, let's say. However, On and Hiroko saw Ikko and Keiko on each of the last four nights prior to taking off on their own ambitious road-trip across the United States. I think that makes sense, because surely it was the Naraharas' road-trips of 1971 to 1973 that were inspiring the Kawaras, though On would make the road-trip his own by rigorous adherence to Date Painting and the three self-observation series. For the last three days before they left New York, they stayed overnight at the Naraharas' address, as shown by the 'I GOT UP' cards. That is, they stayed at 24 East 22nd Street for the third, fourth and fifth times that year.

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I've said elsewhere what a great trip out west the Kawaras enjoyed. They stopped first in Pittsburgh and motored through Columbus, Indianapolis, St Louis, Topeka, Denver and Santa Fe. The latter being a small town in New Mexico, the state where Ikko Narahara had achieved this shot in 1972.

kjsa0025wxztyo0025zz5frosskq_thumb_f0a2-2 Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.

By November, the Kawaras were in Los Angeles, followed by California, in particular Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento. Then they began the long drive back to New York, where they reached on January 3, 1974. A three-month road-trip! They stayed with the Naraharas for three nights, telling them all about it, I presume, then moved to the König home, where Kasper lived with Ilka and their two children, Lili and Hiroko (named after Hiroko Hiraoka).

The Königs address is in mid-Manhattan (78th Street) rather than lower-Manhattan, so it was a while before On was back meeting Nobu, Aoki and Soroku. Perhaps that's why by the middle of January the Kawaras moved into 140 East 31 Street again. That's the address that I'm not too sure about. Anyway, they were living there in the meantime. In January of 1974, On saw Nobu, Aoki, Soroku and the Naraharas roughly the same number of times, though he saw Kasper more often because they had been living in his flat for a fortnight.

Same story in February. On saw Nobu, Aoki and Soroku (often on the same days) roughly the same number of times as he saw the Naraharas (usually on different days). On met the Naraharas on Feb 19, 20 and 21. He wasn't Date Painting. He was moving, presumably with Hiroko, between East 31st Street and East 22nd Street.

gsaiemu3r7oafpsvblhyng_thumb_f154 Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

In March, On and Hiroko embarked on another road-trip. This time down to Florida. Day after day, the I MET lists show that On only met Hiroko. But the four days prior to the trip they'd repeatedly met Ikko and Keiko.

fcseelgutemexhvrnulhtq_thumb_f155 Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

And the very night before driving to Philadelphia, their first stop, they'd slept at the Naraharas home. Postcards were going to Claire Copley in California, who On and Hiroko had hooked up with on their 1973 road-trip, and the address on the card sent to her on March 12, is 24 East 22nd Street. As you can see, when they returned to New York on April 8, they again stayed with the Naraharas. And again it was Claire Copley who was getting the cards with the 24 East 22nd Street address.

mxsg7xb9trm0025sxeyi2gpsa_thumb_f156.fxvelcbvqwczf3002b6wculiw_thumb_f157 Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

The rest of the month was divided between the Naraharas and the Königs, with On and Hiroko living again with the König family. Hence Nobu, Aoki and Soroku were almost entirely neglected. Though come to think of it, the reason for that would be the concentrated effort that Kasper König and On Kawara (with Hiroko's help) were making to provide all that was necessary for the large and important show that Kasper had got for On Kawara in Bern. It was to be called One Year's Production and so a massive effort needed to be made to get all the self-observation series from 1973 in a state to be shown to the public. All the Journals since 1966 needed to be properly presented, and the Date Paintings from 1973 brought together. How did they do all that as effectively as possible in a museum context? What would work for the viewer who had never before seen a Date Painting? Cue long discussions into the night.

But things weren't just happening in the Kawaras' professional life. The fact is, the Naraharas were getting ready to leave New York for good. On, Hiroko, Ikko and Keiko met for the last time on May 10 and 11. On both days, the 'I WENT' map shows On moving between the Königs' flat and the Naraharas'. The 'I GOT UP' record shows that On and Hiroko immediately moved into the Naraharas' home once they'd vacated. Perhaps they took over the rent. And a month later, after postcards had been going from 24 East 22nd Street to Keiji Usami, in Tokyo, and Jerry Ferguson, in Florida (who I presume On met on the 1974 road-trip) this rather neat thing happened:

0025l600254adlrlemko0kspsghg_thumb_f159.niql2ipkr5equwwb93jlxg_thumb_f15a Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

From Ikko Narahara's old New York address to his new Tokyo address! I imagine these postcards are still in the family collection. Ikko died in 2020 but Keiko may still be alive. I haven't seen any of the 28 cards that On sent to Ikko reproduced anywhere. That is, until Tama Art University got permission to publish them at medium-resolution, which is why I'm reproducing them two at a time, at a smaller size than I would otherwise.

In the book Broadway, which consists entirely of composite photographs of the junctions of roads along Broadway as it moves from south to north, Ikko Narahara describes the place he stayed in the following way:

'For four years from May 1970, I lived at 24 East 22nd Street in New York. This street, which was lined with trees, which was rare in New York, looks a little chic during the day. "It's like a microcosm of New York," said a friend.' (I wonder if that friend was On Kawara.) 'The building has a 1st floor discotheque, 2nd floor video production, 3rd floor typewriter repair company, 4th floor industrial photographer's studio 5th floor counselling room for alcoholics, 6th floor printing factory, 8th floor psychiatrists workshop and my studio was on the 7th floor. From the window I could see the decorative walls of the nearby Flatiron Building. Sunset-lit Broadway crosses Fifth Avenue and appears to be on fire, with its famous building across, on such times as a summer evening. At such times, when I left the room, my feet would always turn toward Broadway.'

I wonder if On's did the same now he was in residence. With a psychiatrist's couch on the floor above, and a printing factory on the floor below.

As I said, in June and July of 1974, On sent 28 cards to his friend, Ikko Narahara. These first two (above) are images of the United Nations Building, just as the set of 100-odd sent to Pontus Hulten in 1972 began with a dozen postcards showing the UN building. A scrutiny of the 28 cards to Ikko shows the recipient being given basically the same tour of New York that Pontus received, only at about a third of the density, ending up with single cards posted from the two airports out east on June 18 and 19.

zaxtxg8ls7ijgiotfdzsmg_thumb_f15b.ddfqjydjrzkyhqu002b60kxcw_thumb_f15c Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

All went quiet on the On Kawara/ Ikko Narahara front for a couple of months. Then On recommenced sending Ikko cards from September 27, the day after leaving New York for Switzerland in order to see his own show. For 25 days in all, On Kawara sent a postcard from Hotel Moderne, Geneva (four cards); then Hotel Schlussel, Bern (eighteen cards; On had a really close look at his own show); then Hotel Lido, Geneva (three cards). The getting up times are not exactly hippy-esque. After recovering from jet lag, On GOT UP at: 9.54 A.M., 8.03 A.M., 7.58, A.M., 9.19 A.M., 9.10 A.M., 9.02 A.M., 9.04 A.M., 9.38 A.M., 8.47 A.M., 7.54 A.M., 8.56 A.M., 8.47 A.M, 8.44 A.M., 9.05 A.M., 9.04 A.M., 9.25 A.M., 9.05 A.M., 8.36 A.M., 9.35 A.M., 8.17 A.M., 8.31 A.M., 8.09 A.M., 8.37 A.M..

A couple of these postcards are reproduced at high quality in one particular book. Kasper König would have had no problem in getting Ikko Narahara's co-operation when putting together the On Kawara: Horizontality/Verticality volume that he edited in 2000. So here they are.

First, see all the Swiss hippies skinny-dipping in Lake Geneva. What a wild country. Eh, Ikko?

t0025tatlqps1kpnna5ttoftg_thumb_d91a Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

Second, wherever you go in Switzerland there is a clock mounted on a church spire telling you what time it is. What a wild, wild country. Eh, Ikko?

No need for alcoholic counselling because there are no alcoholics.

No need for psychiatrists' couches because everyone is sane and well-adjusted.

No need for eight-storey buildings because there are no discotheques, no typewriter repair-shops, no photographer's studios, no alcoholic counselling rooms, no printing factories, no artists studios and no psychiatrists' consulting rooms all wanting to be piled on top of each other.

Just houses. And a church pointing the way to eternal salvation.

ikm002bk8erre002b41002bivt0yvha_thumb_d91d Reproduced thanks to the understanding of the One Million Years Foundation.

As I mentioned earlier, Tama Art University have published 'I GOT UP', 'I WENT' and 'I MET' to the end of 1974. Five years to go. And if Ikko Narahara's name crops up again then I'll be all over it. I expect it will, possibly when On and Hiroko go to Japan at the end of 1978. We'll see.

For now let me end by again mentioning Ikko Narahara's near-certain, deep interest in the fact that On Kawara did not allow photographs of himself to enter the public realm. Surely two friends, one of them a creative photographer, could come up with a way of him practising his trade using the other as subject. Surely such playful and talented individuals as Ikko and On could do that. Well, we don't know. But I leave you, dear reader, with this image by Ikko Narahara.

mdgckay2rreo3lapelotka_thumb_f15f Reproduced with the forbearance, I hope, of the copyright holder, the estate of Ikko Narahara.