Kumi Kawashima "Treasured Memory Box"
Date: November 19 - December 28, 2011

Opening Reception: November 19, 2011, from 5:00 pm
We are pleased to announce the fourth exhibition of "DEMADO CONTEMPORARY ART PROJECT" titled "Treasured Memory Boxh (Tamatebako-dou) by artist Kumi Kawashima.

Kawashima is an installation/sculpture artist based in Kumamoto. She deals with familiar theme subjects such as dream, memory and nostalgia, and has exhibited works with a touch of fantasy in an affectionate manner. She has also incorporated site-specificity and interactivity to her installation works and projects.

gTreasured Memory Boxh is an interactive installation project which involves participation of the audience, presenting an imaginary store that sells Tamatebako, a small casket that appears in a famous Japanese folktale, Urashima-taro*, a similar story to Rip van Winkle.

The participant in this project will be asked to recollect their best, or happiest moment in life that they treasure, and write it down on a piece of paper, without showing it to anyone. The artist then puts the paper ? or the memory ? in the box (Tamatebako) she made and seals the box, and exhibit it in the window gallery turned shop window of Tamatebako-dou, the Treasured Memory Box Store. The participant will not be able to take their own box with them, but they can purchase someone elsefs box instead, signed and numbered by the artist, as a piece artwork. Thus, each participant will keep someone elsefs best memory, though without knowing its content, while their own memory will be kept by someone with great care.

This exhibition aims at questioning the nature of memory and what it is all about to remember/recollect the past moments. Even if you might have shared the same space and time with other people, each of them will have quite different memories from the gsameh experience. Recollecting your memories and putting them down in words forges up new stories and new interpretations, but you cannot avoid relying on the act of renewing when bringing back memories.

We expect this exhibition will, while presenting a visualized metaphor to collective memory, induce the audience to ponder over their own memories once again as well as give a small clue to living a life more richly.

* Urashima-taro is a young fisherman who, after saving a turtlefs life, is invited to a deep sea palace of Otohime, the lady master of the ocean, who entertains Urashima a lot. After three years of fun, Urashima decides to leave the palace and go back to the land. Otohime gives him a casket (Tamatebako) as a farewell gift, though telling him never to open it. Back in his home village, his house was nowhere and no one knew him. When Urashima finally opens the casket in desperation, a cloud of smoke blows out, and all at once he becomes a very old man and diesc
* * * * *

The queen Otohime presents the Tamatebako to Urashima-taro.
Contained In the Tamatebakofs was gtime.h

Which, however, you are not supposed to open by no means.
At gTamatebako-dou,h I will exhibit those Tamatebako boxes, each of which contain peoplefs treasured memories.

First, you are asked to recollect the best, happiest moment in life.
Then, please write it down on a piece of paper without showing it to anyone.
Then I will put the paper in a Tamatebako box and it will be exhibited in the shop window.
You cannot take your own memory with you, but you may choose and purchase one of the other boxes exhibited, which contain someone elsefs memories.
You will then keep someone elsefs treasured memory with you.
Likewise, your own lifefs best moment will in turn be kept by someone you may never know.

Please promise not to open the Tamatebako box you have obtained.
All you can do is imagine; imagine what the nice memory inside the box is like.

Like Urashima, you might be tempted to break open it some time.
But, once you open it, all your imagination will be gone, missing in a cloud of smoke.

- Kumi Kawashima
If you wish to participate in the gTreasured Memory Boxh project, please attend the opening reception on November 19th.
If you will not be able to come on the reception day, please contact us by e-mail, or through facebook, or call (+81-(0)75-414-3633).

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