Friday, January 29, 2010

ittekimasu / tadaima (by reiko)

いってきます "ittekimasu" = I’m going out and coming back
いってらっしゃい "itterasshai" = See you later
ただいま "tadaima" = I’m back (home)
おかえりなさい "okaerinasai" = Welcome back/home

For me, home is the ability to have a place to come back to. You leave but you always come back. Even better yet, you leave and have someone to come back to. Knowing that there is someone to come home to is what makes a place a home.

In Japanese, there are phrases used when you leave home and when you return home. “ittekimasu” when you leave home and “tadaima” when you return. The person who you leave responds by saying “itterasshai” when you leave and “okaerinasai” when you return. I find comfort in these phrases although I don't use them. I am interested in the daily routine of them, the etiquette and the ritual. These are phrases that don't belong to a particular physical space -- you can take them with you. This leads me to think of text messages and the portability of communication. If we are all connected, is our idea of home always with us through a hand-held device? Is my idea of having a place to come back to necessary?

I am interested in craft, patterns and paper. I'm intrigued by illusions and imitations. All of these thoughts have so far amalgamated to this:

Honeycomb patterns - The honeycomb is the nest of the bees and the place where honey is produced and stored. I'm attracted to the beautifully simple hexagon shape and as well the six-sided connectedness. It was interesting to learn that beehive honeycombs are in this shape because it makes efficient use of space and building material.


Text messages and pixels - We are constantly looking at screens and communicating through text messages and emails. Pixels are usually unnoticeable but make up the images and text we see on screen...just like when I type this...and this...and ♥.

= Honeycomb Pixels

What if I created messages using pixels in a honeycomb pattern?

(to be continued)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SubDivisions (observations by Steve)

Flying from Vancouver to Calgary recently, these photos are of some new suburb of Calgary. These houses are sprouting seemingly out of nowhere onto a snowy, barren landscape...there are not even any trees visible. Literally a 'pattern' of settlement, the shapes of these communities remind me of English Hedge mazes, or even the shape of aztec ruins, for some reason...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Foreshadowing (by reiko)

Thinking about Bungalow Colony made me realize that much of my work has dealt with the themes of home and place. Most recently, I used the Toronto cityscape. It began with the idea of creating a false window where you see the city skyline and it transformed into glorified souvenirs. Here are some images of work from this series.

More Objects for Thought

Seema's post below; made me think of a few things that are fueling my ideas. Around the same time as I came across the first artist Seema mentioned Michael Johansson I came across Marc-Anthony Polizzi. I love the used of household objects as formal compositional elements.

Visually the next artist that came to mind was Amy Casey, which could be seen as a witty response to our concept.

Then I thought about The Maunsell Sea Forts, photographed by Pete Speller, courtesy of Nick Sowers.

My own ideas about tackling our topic are a bit more abstract. Thinking about lichen colonies and their similarities in structure to cities.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Some Objects for Thought

I recently came across two artists whose work I felt related nicely as to how I might interpret the concept of Bungalow Colony.

I found out about this artists' work through a post on the website Design Sponge on December 17, 2009. I like his use of vintage colour schemed household items to perfectly stack household objects and furniture.

Yoshiaki Kaihatsu

I came across this artists' work in Canadian Art Winter 2009 issue. This piece is titled Happo-En from the show Great New Wave, which was exhibited in Hamilton 2008. I liked his use of common objects to create spaces that people could potentially crawl inside to observe and experience a particular atmosphere.

Cocoons - Ideas by Steve

In thinking of the notion of home and portability, I began to draw connections to the animal kingdom. Animals are essentially the masters at creating portable homes. I'm thinking of creating an animal shelter, but human-sized and built with the materials that humans would use building their homes. I'm thinking cocoons, they're pretty awesome:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bungalow Colony (a work in progress)

We discussed what we wanted to do as a collective and what has brought us here to this point. We realized that the four of us have had similar experiences (leaving home and living in another place), are the same age and are now going through similar things. We discussed that in Japan (when ACOFO began) we were all in a transitional time of our lives and now that we are all back in Toronto and Hamilton, we are beginning to “settle” or become more grounded here. We then explored ideas of settlement and home and came up with the concept of Bungalow Colony.

This is a draft/work in progress.

Bungalow Colony: The Portability of Home/Settling Up

A Collection of Foreign Objects: How we arrived at Bungalow Colony

Now that we are not foreign objects; what sort of objects are we?
We are settling > settlement > colony
Bungalow Colony (observed on a sign for a trailer park)

The title of the exhibition is catchy in its absurdity; the irony of the phrase sparked our imagination. Dressing up the everyday and presenting it as something new is often at the core of our themes; humour is an integral component. This led us to ruminations on the portable nature of home. “Home is where the heart is” “Home is where my stuff is” What is the enduring notion of home vs. the portable notion of home? Our members have spent portions of their lives living in other countries; in other parts of this country, and we often think about where “home” is and what that means. Homeland, nationhood, what does it mean to be of a place but not from that place? These questions and others intrigue us and provide us with fertile terrain for a new exhibition.

How Bungalow Colony fits with Gendai Gallery’s Mandate

The Japanese-Canadian Cultural Centre created a physical space and community to celebrate Japanese-Canadian heritage over 40 years ago. The Gendai Gallery resides in the home of the JCCC and this show will respond to ideas of settlement and community. The Gendai Gallery serves the community and all members will be able to relate to the concept of the portability of the home as well as bring their own stories and interpretations to the exhibition.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tactile and Tangible

I was given these two books recently and they have become great inspirations for me for our upcoming art show and my art work in general.

Tactile - High Touch Visuals (2007)
Tangible - High Touch Visuals (2009)
Editors: R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, M. Huebner

In Tactile, I came across artist Jen Stark who does amazing sculptures with paper. I found this one ("Burst") to be particularly beautiful.