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Number -Family-

Group Exhibition -Beyond The Sun- / 2019 / Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, South Korea

This is one of a series of my works using my own alien registration number “B176404261”. The number indicates foreign status in Japan until 2012 when the legal basis was abolished. The artwork consists of a drawing of thousands of numbers, and a narrative “1111” derived from the drawing.

Based upon my registration number I began a ‘drawing’ in the form of a list of numbers

descending and ascending from my own, proliferating them through my sketchbook, coming to arrive at the numbers of my mother, father and siblings. Like looking for their figures in the crowd, I continued to draw numbers between mine and theirs’. 

Each artless rendering of a number in this list of figures, is a moment of recognition towards the individual existence of each individual it refers to. The number drawing of countless other numerical combinations call anonymous entities, who may have actually existed.

In the process of the drawing, I came to realize the very first person assigned an alien registration number “1111” in 1947. The story is expressed as a letter written for the anonymous fictional person.


(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.

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