My Borderline Project has drawn smile from a lot of people. I have met and talked to so many people face to face through the project. I feel I have been doing the meaningful activity though art here in Northern Ireland.
I just put the concept of my Borderline Project below:
In 2013 I was commissioned by the Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013 to realize a unique art project. In the project I have converted the interior of a caravan into 2 parts, one half has a British design and the other half an Irish design. Many things that have either a British or Irish character are also displayed symmetrically, British objects on the British side, Irish objects on the Irish side.
Throughout 2013 I have been showing the caravan in the Ebrington Square where the venue of the Tuner Prize exhibition is located, as well as some border points between Derry~Londonderry (Northern Ireland) and Donegal (Ireland). Through communication with people whom I have encountered, I have continued to develop the project by adding objects and/or correcting the display in the right direction.
Since I moved to Northern Ireland, I have not been sure about the particular difference between Irish and British culture under the complex society of Northern Ireland. The project has helped me to learn and understand about each culture and society. The outcome of the caravan is that it is becoming like a small museum, showing the differences of each culture.
I have also been carrying out the project from an outsider’s point of view, with my Japanese identity. I don’t believe in any religion. I don’t have any political incline. Because I can be neutral between Irish and British society, I believe the project makes more sense.
I have struggled to keep an equal balance on both the Irish and British sides. But sometimes I found it difficult to collect Irish things, compared to British things, as some of the Irish culture has been disappearing. I have revived some of the Irish culture by importing stuff from the USA. (There are many Irish immigrants there and they have some business related to their roots.)
I have been learning a lot through the project. It's not so easy to invite many people inside the caravan as the caravan is normally private thing. But, if anybody enters, they are always fascinated by the project and start talking about Irish and/or Northern Irish culture, society and their personal history.
In the Tuner Prize exhibition 2013 Tino Sehgal didn't exhibit any artwork in the gallery.
He just gives 2 Pounds to the each audience if the audience agrees to spend it to encourage consuming.
To be honest I didn't like his way of work. I think many people would think art is difficult and lose interest in art because of him. But as he got the gold prize in Venice Biennale 2013 this year without creating things, he is getting more attention than any other artists. If I try to think about the Turner Prize 2013, I cannot prevent from talking about his work unfortunately. During doing my Borderline Project I have thought about his project with talking with customers sometimes. In spite of my feeling he might win the prize in my instinct.
Today occasionally one guy came to my caravan with a desperate situation. He told me he is locked out of his apartment and he needs 2 Pounds to copy the key for his apartment today. But he doesn't have money now. Though I was not really sure the guy I have never met is talking about the truth or not, I told him if you participate in my project, I will give you 2 Pounds, with thinking about Tino Sehgal's work as well as the kindness of people when I left my wallet in Belfast.
After giving him 2 Pounds, I told him, by the way, if you go to Turner Prize show over there, you can get another 2 Pounds, if you participate in one of artists' work.