Gabriel Delponte is an Argentian-born, Miami-based artist who works in a wide range of media both contemporary and traditional. Matsuo Bashō is a 17th century Japanese poet still renowned for haikus that drew from his contemplative experiences in the countryside and the intellectual scenes of Japanese, feudalistic urban centers. Delponte and Bashō, in various ways, will be coming together in a project of Delponte’s titled BridgeMe Japan.
This traveling project will consist of Delponte riding his bike throughout the entire stretch of Japan over a one-year period – creating art, communicating with the people he meets, sharing it all on the site for BridgeMe Japan [link to http://bridgemejapan.com], and having it all filmed for a documentary film. He’s fit to ride the approximately 1800 miles stretch, given that he’s been riding since he was four and gets time in as a long-distance rider for the Sabrina Cohen Foundation, who supports regenerative medicine research.
Delponte has a multifaceted artistic practice; it’s composed of painting, mixed-media installation, furniture construction, and industrial/ecological design. He’s self-taught and has shown at international exhibitions including Art Basel and has had work in group shows globally. Several of his skills will be utilized for the Bridge Me Japan project, slated to start in January 2014, but perhaps the most essential skill he must use is his passion for long and enduring bike rides. Other than riding, Delponte will have a letter-writing project – he will solicit handwritten letters from those he meets and then pass them on to people of a different generation, creating lines of communication that didn’t previously exist in a format of a nearly bygone era.