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Artist Refugee


The 1st Tokorozawa Biennial of Contemporary Art (第一回所沢ビエンナーレ), Japan, August 2009

Mixed media

After the global economic crisis in 2008, my exhibition in Korea was cancelled unexpectedly. I began to experience great difficulty as an artist and so decided to work in a part-time job during my stay in Japan for the exhibition. As the "Internet Cafe Refugee"* became a major social problem in Japanese society, I became an "Artist Refugee" who could not afford to rent a flat. I slept in the exhibition venue during its open hours, 10:00-18:00 and then went for the night shift job after the venue was closed. I was already 37 years old and found that it’s not easy for middle-aged people to find a part time job in Japanese society. This special project documented the process of the job hunting and revealed the harsh reality of being an artist within the current global economic climate.

* : Internet Cafe Refugee - People who can’t afford to rent the flat and they live in the internet cafe even though they work hard.



Photo : Tadasu Yamamoto

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