Transculture

2018
Installation Art (Proposal)
Instant City Tokyo Workshop
Atelier Bow-Wow, Raumlaborberlin, Goethe-Institut Tokyo
Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Collaborator:  Nithirath Chaemchuen






Nowadays people in Tokyo has become more diverse in nationalities than in years past. Akasaka is a district in Minato city, a special ward of Tokyo, located on the coastal flatlands thus it hosts a large amount of embassies and multinational firms. Owing to the mixing of cultures, acculturation has been occured and showed an effect on traditions to transform. Therefore, this project aims to experiment a new experience of social engagement that also embraces multiculturalism.

For many decades, people had endorsed norms for recreation and social interaction until they became cultural traditions. In Japan, teahouse is a place which offers tea to visitors and provides moments for people to get together, socializing, and enjoying tea. The architecture of tea room is constructed in dimension of Japanese mat or tatami patterns. Natural garden outside the teahouse transmits tranquility and relief to all guests. Meanwhile in Germany, there is a Kleingarten or allotment which is a plot of land made available for urban agriculture and seasonal or weekend accommodation. It has become a German movement to spend their leisure time in the garden for relaxation and maintaining intimate relationship with nature. To encompass these two cultures, the installation has been  initiated by an idea to create a parallel occurrence between teahouse and Kleingarten leading to the cross-cultural communication.

Transculture is an interactive artwork taking place on a rooftop of Goethe-Institut Tokyo where anyone can attend. The space of teahouse has been minimized into movable tatami-patterned mats set randomly on the floor. The mat is made of alternative flexible material instead of traditional rice straw. Participants are allowed to interact with the tatami mats and have social activities. The wall upon the rooftop will be used as a screen for projecting live videos recorded real-time via cameras with solar chargers set up at some Kleingarten in Berlin. According to different time zones, the time in German is 5-hour slower than in Japan. The daylight hours of Berlin start from 5 AM to 9 PM or 10 AM to 2 AM in Japan. Consequently, the artwork will be opened for participation from afternoon till late night.

All in all, Transculture will contribute to an interactive social space that people can experience those concurrent cultures. Those who come from different backgrounds are all welcomed and able to meet up each other, have some cups of tea, delight in garden scenery, and gain social interaction. It demonstrates a new paradigm of sociocultural space in the modern world.













Mark