Midi Onodera

You say rice, I say gohan (2022)

According to the UN, 2022 is the International Year of Glass. The earliest known man-made glass dates back to around 3500BC. Since we’re in the middle of a global climate emergency, glass is not only re-useable and easily recycled, but also highly versatile and an important alternative to plastic. Glass is an amorphous substance and although some people believe that it’s a liquid, it is in fact a solid, fragile material.

This year’s series, You say rice, I say gohan is a collaboration between myself and Iori Matsushima. Iori is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto and Japan where she currently resides. She works with various media, from 2D to 3D, but the main focus of her artwork is video and animation. Iori and I are playing with the glass-like fragility of communication, the collision of Western/Japanese cultures and traditions and the disruption of rudimentary (online) translation. Each month one of us sends the other a proverb which is google translated between Japanese and English. We each produce portions of the video, sending the elements back and forth until each work is finished. Each month the video will be inspired by these short proverbs. Each month is an unpredictable delight.

False Awakening

Proverb of January: 一富士二鷹三茄子
Google Translation: One Fuji, two hawks, three eggplants

In Japanese culture, Hatsuyume (初夢), the first dream you have for the year, is said to foretell the luck you will receive for the year. This proverb lists things considered particularly good to see in the first dream. According to one theory, they tell good fortune as Mt. Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain, a hawk is a clever and strong bird, and eggplant (茄子 nasu) is a homonym of achieving something great (成す nasu). -Iori Matsushima

Posted January 1, 2022