Place project

July 31, 2001PROJECTS


Year: 2001
Media: photograph
Location: 50 spots, Halifax, Canada

This is my first work while studying in Canada as an exchange student.

I focus on “Place” that is organized psychologically, emotionally, socially, politically and economically. I was wondering how we recognized “place” and how we explained it. I thought I could find the answer from our everyday lives. For example, Japanese people use their possessions such as the handkerchief to secure their space in public areas. We make the boundary between the public and private, albeit it’s temporary.

I made fifty different patterns of rugs and put them around Halifax. I invented a story for each rug and I set a few items on it so that visitors could imagine the situation easily. For instance, I put a half-drunk coffee, a lipstick-stained cigarette and newspaper on one of the rugs to express a woman who was waiting for her boyfriend. I left the rug for the whole day and took pictures three times (in the morning, at noon and in the night)

The results were very different from what I had expected. In many cases, somebody took the items on the rugs, and even the rugs themselves. In fact I watched a woman eating a muffin and a cup of coffee that I had put on a park bench as one of my works. I was very surprised because we Japanese think that laying out our possessions in public means that they mark our own space apparently so most Japanese people would leave the possessions as they are. And we feel it rude to touch something that is not our own things without asking.