Japan accepted just 0.1% of asylum seekers, which means only 20 people despite a record 19,628 applications in 2017. Holding up a poster with “HELP!” written on it in three languages, Japanese, English and Arabic, on a busy street in Sapporo’s downtown attempted to address the issue of asylum seekers in Japan. Using words that mean essentially the same thing in different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, this work is documentation of an imaginative action attempting to connect to its cultural context; in this case, the situation of the asylum seeker. Does asking for help to hold up a large-sized poster alone synchronize the situation of a person seeking asylum in Japan?With this question, the action is an experiment in connection between my circumstances in Sapporo and an event somewhere in the world.
We think that we can make communication through language more diverse and enriched, and we are producing works with motifs of words and sounds. The video work "signal" is a work that recorded as an image the act of raising a long and heavy signboard in Japanese street depicting "Help!" In three languages, English, Japanese and Arabic, as an image, immigrants / refugees It is based on a problem. By the way, out of 10,901 foreigners who applied for refugee status in Japan in 2016, 28 people are refugee recognition and protected, less than 0.3%. In this exhibition, we also exhibit photographic works showing acceptance, latest video works, signboard works and so on. These works are not story of distant others. It is also a question to himself who recorded the consciousness of the parties, the lack of problem consciousness.
Synchronicity of language - the question and the possibility of translation.
Carrying a sign with “HELP!” written on it in three languages, Japanese, English and Arabic, I stand on a busy street of Sapporo city. I am thinking about the issue of asylum seekers in Japan. Using words that mean essentially the same thing in different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, this work is documentation of an imaginative action attempting to connect to its cultural context; in this case, the situation of the asylum seeker. Am I passed in the hustle in the same way as others who seek help? This work is not about the issue somewhere else but rather about a question of my own attitudes.
The sound of the Ōnusa, a wooden wand with paper streamers used in Shinto rituals, is beautiful and inspired me to make work referring to this sound. Having practiced calligraphy and drawn manga, I find paper to be a very familiar material. Japanese-style houses are partly built with paper: kakejiku, a hung scroll; wall paper; fusuma, a sliding door covered with thick paper on a wooden frame; and shoji screens that let in lovely light. Knowing the richness of paper to flexibly enlarge and reduce the size of a space, I would like to deepen my thoughts working on the sound of paper and paper as material of my work.