Japan: Performance piece part 1.

I was asked by my Sensei to perform as in front of the class with the theme ‘plants’, she described the task as ‘using your body under the theme of plant.’ I didn’t know what to expect as performance art isn’t compulsory on my course. Everyone in my class (3rd year sculpture) had a performance to present, there were 3 presentation days, April 15th (arrange put in order), April 23rd (plants), April 30th (listen). I have no idea what the other two presentations are about. My tutor told me to pick one then present. Before the date I was making a different work that is incomplete. I think I’ll present it separately, I’d like to get permission to install it somewhere on campus.

As the clay work was incomplete and not very performative I decided to use the same concept in a simpler way.

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I got the idea for the original concept when I noticed the plethora of medical masks in Japan. The masks are scary to me as I actually have maskaphobia, I don’t like when people cover there faces as the lack of expression and emotion is creepy to me. Anyway, the masks are worn to prevent people from getting germs and also when people are sick and want to politely reduce the risk of passing illness on. When you’re in Japan for a long period of time it truly sinks in how much people wear them and how aware people are here of germs. I think that Japan has mysophobia (fear of germs), the amount of products and wastefulness that goes into cleaning here is absurd. I had the idea to make a mask covered in fake bright pink flowers, the idea being connected to the plant theme, I wanted to make a visual for germs and then when I wear the mask I’m able to touch the ‘germs’.

I decided to use mushrooms as a visual for germs, I wanted to make them pink to match the mask to have a surreal affect. Here are the mushrooms I used in the performance:

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They are made from Fimo clay, the designs are all mismatching and abstract.

I was inspired by Nishiyama Minako ‘s work, her main theme is the colour pink. She is actually my tutor at Seika!  She made this fantastic installation using the Japanese barbie ‘Rika-chan’ on a poster around the city and the a number underneath implying its a sex add. Nishiyama told me she sees a connection between pink as a cute colour and a beautiful colour with the sex industry  in Japan. If someone called the number there would be a cute girly voice answering, the calls were recorded and you could listen in during the exhibition.

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My other visual inspiration were Pip & Pop who create crazy coloured candy sweet installations. The work is beautiful and very surreal.

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