The composition of this 18” by 24” poster is always in flux. The bottom graphics—an abstract iteration of Japanese characters (東京 meaning Tokyo) and the small text between them—are the only fixed elements on the black surface. The irregularly shaped, seamlessly placed photographs are detachable. Viewers of the installation are encouraged to interact with the poster by rearranging, removing, and adding photographs.
The poster’s surface represents Tokyo. The bottom graphics create a horizon line for ever-evolving Tokyo to be grounded to. By transforming a 3D environment into a 2D experience, I understood how we remember a place, what we take away from a city we travel to, and what visions create a mental imprint of the place that we can always bring ourselves back to.
These captivating architectural structures in Tokyo that I stumbled upon—and proceeded to document with my Fujifilm X-T20 camera—were unlike anything I had ever seen in other places I’d previously traveled to. The built environment in Tokyo is dynamic, playful, and versatile in a way that I didn’t know was possible.
How to use the poster (the small text on the poster):
Please add one new photograph from below to this poster.
Please adjust the placement of the photographs to create a new composition that accommodates your addition.
Please stay within the edges of the poster and do not cover this bottom text.
Please make sure each photograph remains somewhat visible.
Please use one pin per photograph.
Please remove and take with you one photograph that was already on the poster.
Tokyo is a place with many underlying rules—not as explicitly stated like the ones on this poster, yet they exist and everyone can feel them. I included these poster guidelines on the surface to show how rules are embedded in society there. I clearly stated them so viewers won’t feel as lost as I did in Tokyo.
By encouraging people to add an image and take an image, I am alluding to the fact that when a person enters a new environment, it leaves an impression on them and they make an impression on it.
The photographs are attached to the poster with white glass head pins, reminiscent of marking on a map where one has been.
“The five elements of image generation—paths, edges, districts, nodes, and landmarks—were based on the assumption that they constituted recognizable images for the city inhabitant making his way through different parts of the city.”— Kevin Lynch, Image of the City
Inspiration taken from the writings by Rene Kural in Architecture of the Information Society the World City Expressed through the Chaos of Tokyo—one of the many books I discovered in the Musashino Art University Library.