Bombared by images and explanation of 18 differenet homes, this morning section is eye opening to different living habits, different life styles and different culture. The afternoon Power-Talk section is highlight of the day, the creative director of the workshop Craig Au Yeung and co-ordinator Cindy van den Bremen from Netherland make a presentation on their insight into the home issue, using their own working experience and projects to illustrat the multi-disciplinary nature of such a simple yet complicated concept called Home. Home is not only about the living space, the decoration and the objects, but is also about memory, tradition, social and political and economical affairs and most importantly, one's own identity.
With a Q & A section, each of six workshop participant present their own home, the audience of the power talk enthusiastically join the discussing, raising more comment and interest from different angles.
The fist day ended with a small and relax welcome party in the Design Museum. Having a chance to sit in the furniture designed by the pioneers of Post-War Japanese design, the simple sushi and green tea taste differently.
Craig Au Yeung Ying Chai
It's a real pleasure for me to participate in preparing in this year's workshop entitled "I am home!" Tataiima!
Thanks for the hardworks from the colleague in the Nagoya design center,
participants of this year's workshop from Japan and oversea,
will have a chance to visit a total of 15 local homes.
It will surely be an enlightening and wonderful experience to know more about the real home living environment of Japanese households,
to share their idea on daily living, their commentary on design objects,
and their general as well as specific views on today's consummer society and information age. For the participants from overseas,
it will be a precious experience of cultural exchange.
Everybody has a home, some may have more than one.
A place called Home is not only a physical space where one carry out his or her daily activities, but also a phycological space of personal and collective memory.
I'm from Hong Kong. I borned and grown up in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is my home.
My parent come to Hong Kong as immigrant from China some fifty years ago because of the war.
First they treated Hong Kong as a temporary home but eventually they settled down and raised their family. HK became their, and our permanant home.
In the past forty years, our family move 4 times to different houses, hoping to have better living environment.
We even emigrant to Canada for a while before 1997 when HK is handed over to China.
But we finally came back, still treating HK as our Home.
From this angle, Home is a concept on the move, flexible and adaptable,
a key character of HK people.
One day when I got a chance to look back at what I've been doing in the past 15 years after my graduation from University,
I suddenly realized all my works, no matter it is design work, illustration and comix work, or my essay writing, are all focus on, and relate to the issue and idea of home, conciously or uconciously.
Today I would like to take a chance to share this experience with our guests here.
Since 1997, I started a writing and photo documentary project called "Home, Chinese Home".
In the past 7 years, I have visited more than one hudred different homes in HK, Taiwan and Mainland China.
A lot of the home I pay visit belongs to my old friends, old school mates and working colleague, but some are new friends introduced by friends.
Every time I bring along a photographer to take pictures of the home environment,
and I will do a write up on this home interview and the writing and the photos first became a regular column in magazines in HK, Taiwan, and Mainland China, and later collected into books.
I must say that I do not treat this home interviews as a regular journalistic job, or an academic field work or research.
I really having a good time in all these homes, from casual chat on daily odds and ends to serious political, economical and culture discussion, always with a light lunch, or a heavy dinner, with a lot of drinks, laughters and even tears.
Here you can see a home in HK, which belongs to a good friend of mine, a famous advertising profession and a film director,
Cindy van den Bremen
This toilet is often equipped with a fountain on top of it. Once you flush the toilet you can wash your hands at the same time. This not only safes water, but also space which is precious in Japanese city life. One might state that this design even resembles the mentality of Japanese like the respect for nature and therefore environmental awareness being a logical integration in Japanese way of thinking; also the efficiency level of a lot of products resemble the Japanese way of dealing with limited space. A good example of this can be seen in the small picture book called Tokyo Living. For the workshop, due to the limited time, unfortunately we will just have to focus on the more visible part of home living rather than this anthropological or even philosophical part. It will be mostly about observation and communication with the users. Also it might be important to mention we want to focus more on the interaction with the things that surround them in their house rather than the decoration of the houses or its interior design.
Before the participants arrived in Nagoya they already had to complete some homework. Everyone was asked to make a visual presentation of their living environment. As an introduction to the workshop I want to show you my Dutch home.
This morning we watched the presentation of all the homes of the participants. The cultural differences between the house of the foreigners, but also the many differences that can be found between the Japanese houses open up a whole new world of looking at a culture.
Craig from the USA, currently living in Italy talked about the differences between Italian homes and his reference which he has on home living in the USA. He also explained a lot of the objects in his Italian house that were somehow related to food or foodpreparing, which plays an important part in Italian daily life. For example the coffeepot on the stove to make espresso or the cupboard where the grappa (drink from skin of grapes) is riping for a few months before its ready to be consumed. These objects are also the mirror of the cultural values.
I hope this workshop will be an eye-opener for both the foreign as well as the Japanese participants, and that they will become more aware of their own cultural luggage.
Lee Tze Ming
Shim Hyun Jung