When I was thinking about new project,
I was on the island of Indonesia where such a culture seems to be remote from Japan.
The market I encountered on the island of Bali had a jumbled atmosphere,
and the boarders of object types and the shopkeepers were blurred.
It was difficult to tell what is where, and it was unclear whether some were merchandise.
People often gather on a floor mat. They generally eat seated on the floor. And there, “a small gift” is exchanged. From someone to someone. And to people who happened to be there. Coffee, sweets, clothes, shoes, rings, and sometime even money! Maybe they have less concept of “private belongings”. Quite often we found ourselves wearing other people’s sandals. When I am faced with the casual exchange of gifts,
I realized how much I was unconsciously particular about “ownership”
From a tropical everyday, I returned to Tokyo.
And starting to regularly visit Ueno area where Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is located, I realized the “sameness” I was after was everywhere near me.
An overflowing of admirers of the cherry blossom in Ueno park. A view of people opening up and sharing the food they brought.
And there is history.
People carrying their belongings with furoshiki
gathering at Ueno Station, entrance to the Tohoku region.
Spreading out objects, Ameya Yokocho was gradually formed from a chaotic market.
Spreading furoshiki and goza, opening a box, and people getting involved.
A temporary community. Isn’t the nostalgic (yet simultaneously new) communication
we have been having unconsciously up to this date,
even though the ingredients and manners are far from each other,
connected to somewhere far away?
For example, isn’t the “osusowake”, sharing what each person has brought,
and the “small gift” the same?
Isn’t the custom of eating on the floor everyday and the custom of suddenly sitting down on a grass field for hanami, admiring cherry blossoms, similar?
Looking for things at the market in Bali and walking down the Ameya Yokocho feels the same.
I am looking for“ the appearance of the society” that exist in both places,
which floats between two borders, without belonging to any.
photo by CULTURE
Inside the art museum appears a temporary narrow passage. Once we step into that street, there is a “space” called “Osusowake (sharing) market” where people can share things they bring. There, people bring things from home, spread rugs in the space, share things with other people. Day by day the passage transforms into a mysterious space where people and things come and go and gather. 《FRAGMENTS PASSAGE - Osusowake Yokocho》is a device for creating an alternative community and is a new type of public space laboratory, where the history of Ueno’s Ameya Yokocho and the history of South-East Asia transact.
Period : 21 July - 8 October 2018 Location : Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Group Exhibition : BENTO—Design for Eating, Gathering and Communicating
Co-Operation: Project Team "Osusowake Gumi" Operation coopera: Appreciate Approach
Production cooperation: Deadstock Corporation, Masaya Kikuchi
translation: Shimizu Miho, Kurea Fujita
Design: Yuto Hama Design Office
Special supporated by Loftwork Inc., 100BANCH,
Under Construction / OpenA, Inc.
Kumai Shoten Co.