“Face Collecting Workshop” Report

For our project “masayume,” we recruited “faces” to float up in the sky of Tokyo from people of all ages, genders, and countries/regions during the period from Tuesday, March 26th to Sunday, June 20th. Not only by using the internet, we also conducted a Face Collecting Workshop with the members of 目 [mé], where we asked people in public and collected photographs of their faces. In this report, we will summarize the 15 workshops (at 12 different places) that were held during the period of early May to late June.

Witnessing the Moments People Encounter with the Project

The Face Collecting Workshop was an event where the members of 目 [mé] and staff prepared a simple photograph and promotion booth in various facilities such as restaurants, cultural venues, and administrative facilities, and asked people in public to join the project. The members and staff supported participants to have their face photos taken and also complete their applications on site.

“We are recruiting a face to be floated up in the sky of Tokyo in 2020!” As we invited people in public by using such phrases as a hook, there were various responses that came back. Some quickly passed by. Some started to giggle as they saw the image sketch of the project. Some stubbornly refused with embarrassment. Some even made suggestions on how the face should float and how high it should be. Some laughed as they questioned whether they would still be alive in 2020.
Each place had new encounters with people, and there was no such thing as a winning pattern that could be applicable at all times. Reactions from the people who encountered the project for their first time were always fresh and full of new discoveries. The members and staff of 目 [mé] shared with each other how their message could be conveyed and how they couldn’t, and continued devoting themselves into the communication.

Furthermore, the workshop did not only have people participating as candidates, but also those who participated as staff who recruited people. Some heard about the workshop on the radio, while some participated through a coincidental accident, and although their backgrounds each differed, they all became important members of the project team. There were even days where around 200 candidates were collected in a day, motivated by the great enthusiasm of the participants of the workshop.

“Face Collecting Workshop” successfully finished as an opportunity where everyone could relate to the project through delivering the motive, the meaning, hope, and the mystery of the project in their own words, inspired by the very personal scene Kojin, the artist of 目 [mé] saw in her dream when she was 14 years old.

Connecting the Memories of the Project through “Face Pass”

The “Face Pass” was an original item that played a crucial role in the Face Collecting Workshop, which enabled participants to simulate how it would look if his/her face would float up in a landscape. The design was inspired by the press material of “masayume,” with four different backgrounds including a mountain scape with Mt. Fuji, a scene of the alleys in Tokyo, a rock surface of a cliff, and branches of cherry blossoms. We provided the Face Passes to the people who applied at the Face Collecting Workshop with the dates written. Face Passes do not have any practical force to approve things, however, we hope the card would occasionally remind participants about the “masayume” project now and then, up until and even beyond the event happens in 2020.

text: Moena Murata (masayume office)
translations: Kana Kawanishi, Akinori Kasai [Kana Kawanishi Art Office LLC.]

Voices of the Participants of the “Face Collecting Workshop”

I had a great time as I could see people who started having interest in this project became excited about it! It was also interesting that I could sense the different sensitivities of each location. I even felt I wanted to try the workshop at completely different places in the city, for example, in nursing homes or clubs.

I could feel the kindness of people as they politely listened to our conversation in the city. For those who cooperated in the shooting process, I could speak with them even deeper. I believe I would have never been in contact with them without this opportunity, which made me experience one of the aspects of what the power of art can do.

The “masayume” workshop gave me a very strange, fun, and precious experience. I am usually very shy, and have difficulty speaking with people. So for me, talking to strangers was something quite unexpectable. And then, once I started speaking to the passers-by, they all first seemed surprised and had a hard time understanding the concept. As I explained furthermore about the project, they started to smile with their eyes shining and made an expression as if to say ”What a crazy idea do you have for this project, but it does seem interesting.” I honestly felt the same way when I heard about the project from the radio on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago. During the face shooting process, their facial expressions changed to even nicer appearances, as if they were being responsible for the participation. When the shooting was over, their faces turned back relaxed again, and smiled while they would sign the consent. When everything was over and they turned their backs to leave the workshop, I could see that they seemed to have fun time. This workshop gave me and the people who kindly cooperated certainly (in Japanese, “masa”) have a dream-like (in Japanese, “yume”) experience.

“Face Collecting Workshop” Overview
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all who have cooperated in arranging the venues.

Date May 6, 2019 (Mon, National Holiday)
Venue atelier? [Shimokitazawa]
Date May 18, 2019 (Sat)
Venue TSUTAYA O-EAST (CINRA event stage) [Shibuya]
Date May 25 (Sat), May 26 (Sun), 2019
Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre [Ikebukuro]
Date June 1 (Sat), June 2 (Sun), 2019
Venue Edo-Tokyo Museum [Ryōgoku]
Date June 9, 2019 (Sun)
Venue Nippon Cultural Broadcasting [Hamamatsu-cho]
Date June 15 (Sat), June 16 (Sun), 2019
Venue Tokyo Bunka Kaikan [Ueno]
Date June 19, 2019 (Wed)
Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Government No. 1 Building [Shinjuku]
Date June 23, 2019 (Sun)
Venue SHIBAURA HOUSE [Tamachi]
Date June 27, 2019 (Thu)
Venue Maruji #1 [Sugamo]
Date June 28, 2019 (Fri)
Venue Adachi Ward Office [Umejima]
Date 2019年6月29日(土)
Venue Kandu [Makuhari]
Date 2019年6月30日(日)
Venue MUJI GINZA [Ginza]


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