postcards, website, audio recordings
PARADISE AIR in Matsudo, Japan|2014/2015|
Through the artist-in-residence program I have been explorig urban legends, myths in the surroundings of Matsudo. Discovering different (utopian and dystopian) visions, scenarios, fantasies, I have been collecting photographies of people and landscapes to expose them in an unusual travel guide, a photo book (summary of the project) and an audio guide based on local people’s stories.
I had combined all the pictures of Matsudo’s neighborhoods with the stories told by residents to emphasis their identity, memory, and the meaning of the town as their place. Through the workshops, think thanks and local trips the project had related to the temporal and spatial being in a certain space.
Maps are not longer the territory. Their coexist with people telling their stories. Through the workshops with local community I understood the “sentimental landscape” of the town.
Matsudo City is well known as a bedroom community for nearby Tokyo, but for me, it immediately became a communal living room more than just a bedroom. My in-dwelling presence became a constant socialization process. I had spent a substantial portion of my art in residency time not only interviewing people but also interweaving with them in their surroundings. Together we were underpinning and sustaining things that matter. A pinch of cultural adjustment mixed with sake and discussions beyond the language changed my perception of this place greatly. It was not only a matter of timing and trimming but also a matter of the welcoming Japanese hospitality while listening to all of the stories form World War II, from childhood, from now and then as well as future. Quickly, I lhave learned that some people visit Disneyland every week, a leek is a symbol for the city, though it may be replaced by the white pumpkin and there’s even a female astronaut who took the seeds of that vegetable into outer space. I found Krecik and Thomas Edison living together in a tiny space by the fish market, I heard about the ghost of willow from a man in curry shop, I listened to the Yagiri No Watashi, while watching exotic fishes somewhere by the old Mito Kaido route.
All the desires, dreams, plans and gossip have melted into one experience of mapping the memory of this particular place. I called it MadMaps, or maps of relationships. The plan was to find myself in the gap, an interplay of senses, that helped me to look at people as the beating heart of the city.