Adam Lewis Jacob: tense

Adam Lewis Jacob: tense 

Opening event: 12 August, 6—9 pm: Ryosuke Kiyasu performance from 7pm

Further screening days:

Thursday 24 and Friday 25 12-5pm
Saturday 26 August 12—6pm
Drop-in, FREE

tense is an exhibition of new work by Adam Lewis Jacob. At its heart is a performance by the Japanese percussionist Ryosuke Kiyasu (Fushitsusha, Sete Star Sept, Kiyasu Orchestra) whose improvisational approach sets the rhythm and visceral resonance of the central film. Refusing any easy definition this work oscillates between a series of oppositional forces, creating a complex overlaying of systems, symbols, and unspoken words. 

Unlike his recent films Idrish (ইদ্রিস) (2021) and Wildcat (2018) which weave archival footage, interviews, and animation together to reveal the political contexts and untold stories of countercultural figures, here Lewis Jacob departs from this approach whilst retaining the essence of previous works. The found materials and borrowed sound gleaned from institutional archives are replaced with fragments from his personal archive, amassed through a series of material experiments and footage shot on impulse. Rather than communicating his ideas through an interview, underpinned and contextualised by Lewis Jacob’s research, Kiyasu, the subject is resolutely unspeaking. Instead, he communicates feeling and experience through the dynamics of his performance. 

Forgoing narrative and exposition, this work finds a non-didactic way to conduct a conversation between the artist and the subject. The tightly focused examination of Ryosuke Kiyasu’s performance becomes a reflection of the material conditions of our surroundings and through the use of cinematography, the viewer is transformed into both an observer and an active participant. Lewis Jacob uses Kiyasu’s improvisational approach as a methodology to experiment with how one can express, through editing, feelings that are difficult to describe. By combining chance, close observation of embodied performance, painting onto film and working directly with colour and abstraction, parallels arise between different materials and processes. This creates an experiential work; a dialogue between freedom of expression and the confinement of meaning, where tension emerges from the push and pull between oppositional forces. 

tense will be accompanied by a text by artist Andrew Black.


Adam Lewis Jacob is an artist and filmmaker based in Glasgow. His work is about the structures that govern our lives and the countercultural figures that question them. He uses the camera to create a space where ideas and people can be brought together, and unexpected relationships can occur. He is one of the founding members of Céline, an independent artist-run exhibition space in Glasgow. His work has been screened and exhibited at the Berwick Film and Media Arts festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Alchemy Film festival, Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India), Studio 55 (Korea), LUX (London). In 2019 he was awarded the Cove Park Experimental Film and Moving Image residency and was co-commissioned by Vivid Projects and Animate as part of national film project WORK. 

In 2022 Adam participated in the ESW/TOKAS residency program in Japan, part of a consortium project by ESW, Hospitalfield, Cove Park, TOKAS, AIT and ARCUS supported by British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland, the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

You can read about Adam Lewis Jacob’s previous works

Idrish (ইদ্রিস) (2021) here, here, and here.

Wildcat  here 

Ryosuke Kiyasu challenges preconceived notions of what music can be and has made a unique niche for himself with his solo snare drum shows. The simplicity of his setup belies the complexity and depth of his performances. From thunderous blast beats to vocal vibrations, the sound Kiyasu is able to create with a single snare drum is as impressive as it is confounding. At the forefront of experimental music Kiyasu is also recognised for his distinctive drumming in the Nosiecore band Sete Star Sept, his own experimental jazz trio Kiyasu Orchestra, and his appearances in Keiji Haino’s Fushitsusha.

Andrew Black is an artist and filmmaker. He was born in 1990 and lives in Glasgow. He studied at Leeds College of Art and the Glasgow School of Art, and was on the Transmission committee in 2016 and 2017. He has been shortlisted for the 2023 Jarman Award, and was the 2021 recipient of the Margaret Tait Award. His film On Clogger Lane premiered at Glasgow Film Theatre and at The Tetley, Leeds, in early 2023. His 2021 community film Dàn Fianais was produced as part of Atlas Arts’ Plural Futures programme. Black’s work was recently exhibited at Centre Clark, Montreal as part of ‘The Magic Roundabout and the Naked Man’ with Aman Sandhu, and a solo exhibition of his paintings was exhibited at Cento, Glasgow, in early 2023. In 2018 he took part in the Experimental Film & Moving Image Residency at Cove Park, and the Autumn Residency at Hospitalfield.

Supported by Creative Scotland, The City of Edinburgh Council and Tokyo Arts and Space