About project

This is an art project by Makiko Yamamoto exploring the potentials of art as a social catalyst. Yamamoto had developed a site-specific work which would engage with members of the local communities living within the proximity of the project space Past Vyner Street. Lost and Found builds on Yamamoto’s artistic practice, which investigates the blurred boundaries between art and life, fiction and reality and the public and private domains.

The aim of Lost and Found was to explore ideas around the relationship between art and society and the role of art as a catalyst for social change by tapping into existing social and communication systems and networks.

The project consisted of various layers and stages. Over a period of two months Yamamoto embarked on a detailed exploration of the local areas (Hackney, Tower Hamlets), mapping and collecting lost objects that she randomly came across.

The outcome of this mapping was a collection of 350 found objects that filled the project space, which the artist turned into a temporary yet authentic Lost and Found office. All objects were clearly labeled and categorized according to their type and the place where they were found. A video camera was placed in the space to imitate the role of CCTV, recording the events each day as they unfolded. Staff were employed to assist Yamamoto during specific opening hours to welcome local visitors and to process enquiries.

However, in order to truly meet the aims of the project, Yamamoto had to find a way to address the local people directly in order for them to take part. Based on observations and mapping of their behavior over a period of time, she decided to tap into the existing Royal Mail postal services as a means of communicating with the public. 550 cards modeled on Royal Mail’s design were created and posted to 550 local addresses at random via their letterboxes, inviting each to collect ‘their’ lost item from the temporary office space.

A total of 118 people visited the gallery during the four days of the project, and 100 of them went away with lost objects.

The unclaimed items were lated displayed in the Bsix Free Shop, a shop that Yamamoto opened on a university campus in her next project. The students that visited the shop were told they could have any item on display, either for free or in exchange for something they owned. Items that were unpopular in Lost and Found project were the first ones to be taken away in this project. As a result, 100 items were taken away, and 180 new objects were left by students who came to the shop. The 330 items left in the shop at the end of the project.







その後、残った落とし物250点を、今度は同じエリアにあるBsixCollege内の、チャリティーショップを装ったフリーショップに並べられた。通常のショッピングにやってきた学生たちは、 「Lost and Found」のタグのついた不思議なアイテムに出会い、気に入ったものがあれば無料で持っていくことができた。また、何かを代わり寄付することもできた。ショップは2週間オープンし、 約100点が居場所を見つけ、来店者が置いていった約180点が追加され、全部で330点となった。


Post Date: June 9, 2011  •  Category:
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