Based steps away from Akihabara Station, the AIR 3331 Iwamotocho Studio - where artist Yangwoo Kim stayed and worked for 8 weeks - is one of the major epicenters for commuting in Tokyo. Documenting and visualizing the daily commutes of people in urban areas worldwide, Yangwoo brought the project "Commuting lives" from Seoul (South Korea - her hometown) to Johor Bahru (Malaysia) and Singapore, and then to Tokyo for the first time in summer 2019. Yangwoo's work has the trademark of connecting the dots of our contemporary urban experiences across distance and time into networks - we are in fact, not alone in our daily commute from point A to point B.
As in her previous project locations, Yangwoo first called for local Tokyo volunteers with whom she would commute round-trip to work or school. Getting a first-hand experience of each volunteer's daily routine, she took video footage during their commutes and interviewed them at their home. In all, she collected data from 25 volunteers, the farthest commute distance being 88.2 km one way. From this information, she then constructed handmade maps and even transformed the colorful Google Maps routes into visual artforms such as 3D print sculptures.
For her final solo exhibition at the Iwamotocho Studio, Yangwoo held a screening event where visitors could view footage from commutes in Seoul, Johor Bahru/Singapore, and most current, from Tokyo. Two monitor screens at the entrance drew us into the commutes of individuals across Asia, in which we could glimpse something familiar in our patterns. Then once passing through the dark curtain, we entered a room showing footage from one of the locations as an all-encompassing wide view projection. For each day of the three-day exhibition, she rotated the footage by location, offering us something different each time. Through research and direct interaction with local people, Yangwoo tied together our daily experiences of living, moving, and working in the city that could be shared as visual art.
When asking Yangwoo about the future of her project, she plans to study the commutes of people across even more regions of Asia, where rapid urbanization of cities has led to high population densities. In 2020, she is planning to research the commutes of people in Bangkok, Thailand as her next target location. Yangwoo also allows us to take a piece of these commutes home with us as pens featuring her bright Google Maps pieces made through collaboration with a local Japanese family (Find these original pens here: https://movingstarsproject.info/Commuting-Pen).
AIR 3331 is very pleased to have Tokyo on Yangwoo's map of "Commuting lives" and looks forward to her next commuting project.
Create your own project in Tokyo!
AIR 3331 OPEN CALL is now accepting.
Deadline: August 21, 2020 (*extended)
Residencies between: September 21 (Mon), 2020 - February 28 (Mon), 2022
Apply here >>> http://bit.ly/2Yt3CwW