After three months of research in Miyagi-ken, Japan, my artist-in-residence program is coming to an end. As a sum-up, I build Mingeye, a one-person-at-a-time-yes-you-can-touch exhibition to let visitors experience how it feels to be a Japanese craftsperson nowadays.
This mobile is made of six craftspeople’s portraits, tools and gestures pictures I captures during my meetings and interviews with them in the prefecture of Miyagi. It is one way of summing up my research in this area. This art piece can act as a conversation starter for the guests visiting MORIUMIUS, a sustainable center located in Ogatsu, Ishinomaki – along with arousing their interest for The Dorayaki Project.
Mingeye is composed by “mingei” (Japanese word for “folk arts”, “arts of the people”, a specific kind of crafts) and “eye“, emphasizing the power of looking at people straight in the eye and facing a situation with honesty and courage.
When you enter the circle, you may feel lonely – just as these craftspeople I met, each being ‘”the last one” of their category. You might feel strange having all these eyes watching you – just like everyone watching these craftspeople, filming them, taking pictures and saving some of their pieces in museum to maintain the memory.
How will you feel?
You can experience Mingeye exhibited on a daily basis at MORIUMIUS, Ogatsu, Miyagi, if you have a chance to visit Japan!