Mending Mito – This world is made like a puzzle, equally concave and convex

December 19, 2013EVENTS


Mending Mito – This world is made like a puzzle, equally concave and convex
July 23 – September 30, 2012
Art Tower Mito, CRITERIUM84

Mending Mito 2012 (2012) is a project to repair damages caused by the effects of time or the earthquake at various locations in Mito city in dialog with local residents. About 330 items from London which had been collected with through two projects such as Lost and Found (2011) and BSix Free Shop (2012) undertaken in London were used as materials for the repairs to complete a jigsaw puzzle on a global scale.

In Lost and Found, created in England in 2011, I collected 350 lost objects from the streets and clubs of London and set up a lost and found office in the gallery. I posted notices through the letterboxes of people in the neighborhood, informing them that their lost property had been found and asking them to come to the gallery to pick it up. The notices resembled those from the Royal Mail, left by postmen when they cannot deliver mail because the recipient is not home. Naturally, the objects in question were not things that these people had actually lost. When local residents visited the gallery, many different things must have been going through their minds. A total of 118 people visited the gallery during the four days of the project, and 100 of them went away with “their” lost objects. The unclaimed items were lated displayed in the BSix Free Shop, a shop that I opened on a university campus in my next project in 2012. The students that visited the shop were told they could have any item on display, either for free ot in exchange for something they owned. Items that were unpopular in the previous project were the first ones to be taken away in this one. As a result, some 100 items found a home, and 180 new objects were left by students who came to the shop. The 330 items left in the shop at the end of the project eventually found their way to Mito city.

I decided to engage in dialog with local residents in order to repair damages caused by the effects of time or the earthquake at various locations in the city. The items left over from previous projects were used as materials for the repairs, so the damaged places were not simply restored to their original condition. I communicated with people living and working in the places where the mending was done in order to develop an image of what the completed repair would be like, and the repairs were carried out at 45 locations in the city. Things that no longer have a place in England have been welcomed as new parts of the city of Mito, and this process is shown chronologically in a before-and-after format. Map showing the locations of mended places are handed out in the gallery so that visitors can take them out in the city after they leave and rediscover the city that they thought they knew. “When something is eliminated in one place, excess appears in another place.” Things that were no longer needed on the other side of the world are sought out and put to use in another place.