Japan Kunstkammer

A collection of Japanese artifacts related to the project were sourced from op shops and Sunday markets, since my return from Japan in September 2009. Over one hundred and ninety objects have been selected. Japanese aesthetic objects have a large number of collectors, which made my task easier. As anticipated the collection was augmented with material found in the house at Urata as well as a number of objects on loan from individuals in the community completed the ocular narrative. The collection is dominated by the theme of nature, the representation of the landscape on Japanese ceramics has fascinated the world since Japans entry in World Expositions beginning with the 1862 London exposition. Artists such as William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement were influenced and borrowed heavily from Japanese aesthetic. This influence continues to the present day extending to the built environment, architecture and landscape design. This evolving subtext with the rest of the collection representing aspects of Japanese culture and beliefs reflects the brief.
Another intention of the projects was to look at represented nature as a starting point, and seek visual equivalence in the real cultural and geographic landscape. This has formed the base for a photographic nature diary of the region exhibited with the Japanese collection acquired in Melbourne and transported to Echigo.
The idea was to occupy one of the abandoned houses, the display was to take the form of a private collection, in a neat domestic setting conducive to social gatherings. As part of my ongoing practice I often organise dinners for groups of people. I see it as sculpture, a space where a dialogue and an exchange of ideas can take place.

 


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Hosting Lunch for Urata Community - August 1 2009

In Japan my intention was to organize similar social gatherings with food to create a dialogue with and between local residents and visitors, based on a collection of familiar yet often forgotten objects from the past, in a house situation were people could sit and talk, remembering the past talking about the future. With the assistance of our friends and supporters we did indeed achieve this, we prepared a lunch for the residents of Urata and any other visitors who happen to come on the day, we used local ingredients generously given to us by the local community and supplemented from local food shops and a beef sponsorship from MLA Meat and Livestock Australia we in turn prepared a rather international menu with a Mediterranean bias, the result was enthusiastically received by all, the guests were very generous with their comments and left us a good collection of brief anecdotal stories in response to the collection and the days event, these will be translated to accompany a digital archive of the objects for publication.


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