copyright © Sumi Kanazawa All Rights Reserved.

 
The House of '1111'

Group Exhibition -Toride Art Project 2008- / 2008 / Ino Apartment Complex, Ibaraki, Japan

An installation set in a disused apartment of a public housing block.
This work develops a narrative based on the Alien Registration Number (a number indicating foreign status in Japan). This installation reconstructs the home of the fictional lead character of this narrative “1111” and this story is offered in the form of a letter left on the table for the viewer to read.
 The home of “1111” is the home of a single elderly man filled with a certain sense of absence, not knowing whether he is alive or dead. Each of the three rooms of the apartment forms a different space (Ino Apartment Complex, the Satsuma fields of Jeju island and a hotel room in Jeju). Throughout the apartment, as if connecting each space, are spread hundreds of transparent alien registration numbers, climbing the windows, walls, mirrors and doors.
Set upon the kitchen table is a letter from a lone female traveler visiting to Jeju island written to “1111” from a hotel room. 

 

(Contents of the Letter)
A female Korean resident of Japan sparked by her own alien registration number developed an interest in those who received such a number for the first time under the establishment of the alien registration law in 1947. Setting out on the search for this number, she began to uncover many facts of the past and came to reduce the distance between herself and 1111. During this search she came to link this unknown 1111 with the image of her own grandfather, developing an urge to visit his homeland and so made the trip to Jeju Island.