| exhibition

Although [Table for 100’s] started just with a Table, through all the information gathered in the research process and that has been put together in the project’s blog it grew into a journey through food and dinning habits of both Japanese and Portuguese people. From morning to evening, from breakfast to dinner; at home, in a restaurant, at school, at the office, in the park… through the five senses, one should unravel the beauty of an enormous variety of flavours, the exquisite smells of certain delicacies and their incredible colours. Experiencing, Measuring, Seeing, Holding, Smelling and Tasting are actions one is invited to take when interacting with the artworks that take over Konya’s building.

Moments of reflection and observation have been compiled in [Dining Stories], a collection of narratives sent by various people and that became an integral part of the project, not only as a source of contents for the artworks, but as an artwork on its own right.

[Table for 100’s] works as a narrative of experiences (personal and collective), as a piece designed and built with and for those who will use, enjoy and help maintaining it. [ +info ]

exhibition 2011.11.10 >>> 11.30 @ konya-gallery & konya-sky, Fukuoka

| opening party |

At the opening party [Table for 100’s] was occupied in different ways throughout the evening depending on the environment people wished to adopt. Some ate at the high tables, standing up as if they were at the counter of a café, others decided to seat on the picnic towel, as if they were in the park. Many people from different ages and backgrounds came together in this one meal where Japanese and Portuguese cuisine met and new tastes were unraveled.

The dinner was a success and the Table has, since the opening, been used by different people who come around Konya’s rooftop to enjoy coffee or lunch, or simply read the newspaper in the environment/setting that most suits them at the time.

Before the dinner started, the design process developed in this project was explained and several people, who had been involved at different stages and whose statements were used as raw material for the several artworks, had the chance to share their testimony of their experience as participants in this project.


 

| the first supper |

[Table for 100’s] was only possible because Konya embraced a democratic type of fundraising through Campfire, a platform for ordinary people who are interested in design and wish to financially support innovative projects. Prior to the oficial opening party a special dinner was held at the Table.  Portuguese food was prepared by Keiko Morimitsu and the starters (Portuguese cheese and chouriço) that arrived by Post from Portugal delighted our special guests, all the people who kindly invested in this project. Not even the rain and the cold revealed to be an obstacle for a delightful evening where the first supper was served at the Table.

 

| artworks |
[catalogue : Table for 100’s]

#00 > [Dining Stories]
| the five senses | all-day long |

> [Dining Stories] is a series of narratives that different people were invited to write about and around food. What people eat, when, with whom, where… People from Portugal and Japan have sent their testimonies, both written and visual. Initially [Dining Stories] was meant to simply work as a design auxiliary and only after edited, the data would be used. It seemed wasteful to only use a small fragment of what people had shared with us, so [Dining Stories] gained a dimension of its own and should be seen as an artwork with its own value.

 

 

#01 > [Morning Talks]
| touch | morning |

> Breakfast is the core meal of one’s day regardless of where one lives or what one does for living. It should give us enough energy and set us up in the right mood to go through the day. [Morning talks] is where the long table starts being drawn. A 1:1 scale drawing follows the line of the entrance’s corridor and begins a food and dining journey up towards the rooftop through the different times of the day experienced with each of the five senses.

As one walks along the time, one encounters familiar breakfast environments and scenarios, familiar tables and food, familiar settings and imagery. [Morning talks] illustrates and re-creates some of the stories from the collection [Dining Stories] which are narratives sent by various people about how, what, with whom, when and where they have the different meals throughout the day. It takes us on an experiential walk through multiple breakfast environments in Japan and in Portugal making one realize that, at this first stage of one’s day, mileage becomes abstract and one’s dining habits reveal to be more similar then one would envision.

 

#02 > [The World Today]
| sound | morning |

> Continuing the journey through morning habits, one travels all the way to Lisbon through a collection of specific urban morning sounds that are being played side by side to footage of three different breakfast environments in Fukuoka.

The over layering of sound and image brings together similar familiar habits and scenarios, as if one was the main character of each individual setting.

 

#03 > [24 Hour Dining People]
| touch | morning |

> Meal times appear to be fairly well synchronized throughout the world dictated by sunrise and dawn, by work routines and holiday. Despite the core eating times, the way Fukuoka socially operates has made it into an all-day and night vibrant city as a result of its strong food culture. One seems to encounter people eating at almost all times of day or night both indoors and outdoors. [24 Hour Dining People] registers what people eat throughout the day, and when they eat, reporting whether or not we are [24 Hour Dining People].

 

#04 > [LA >> LF : 2011 >> 1563]
| sound and sight | lunchtime |

> [LA >> LF : 2011 >> 1563] is a correspondence exchange between Japan and Portugal. Two parallel views in two different time frames aka what no longer is.

Luís Fróis (b. 1532, d.1597) was a Portuguese Jesuit Missionary who arrived in Japan in 1563 and documented the differences between European and Japanese habits at the time in a book entitle ‘Tratado das contradições e diferenças de costumes entre a Europa e o Japão’ (‘Treatise of the contradictions and differences of habits between Europe and Japan’).

Luísa Alpalhão (b. 1984) is a Portuguese architect and artist who spent some months in Japan doing an art residency and has reviewed a selection of Luís Fróis statements that are, in most ways, no longer true.

In a series of photographic documentation one encounters several contradictions to some of LF’s statements which have been posted back to Portugal as a register of cultural and social changes in Japan. Once read and visualized, each new statement was returned to its origin, Daimyo Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, certifying that the exchange of knowledge about the current cultural similarities has reached the other side of the world.

 

#05 > [Can you smell it?]
| sound and sight | lunchtime |

> The smell of food and cooking is what often draws one to experiment certain dishes, is the means to open ones appetite, is what makes us distinguish delicious food from food that has gone off.

Disposed of all imagery, one is taken on a walk along a colourless corridor on a journey through the smell of essential ingredients in Japanese and Portuguese Cuisine. Those ingredients are imagery and smell almost imperceptible representations that should surprise the eyes and the noses of those who walk pass.

 

#06 > [Walk the lines]
| sight | lunchtime |

> Lines that map spaces, routes that create environments, meals that are eaten indoors but, according to such settings, one is encouraged to feel the meal is taking place in the park, at the beach.

Journeys of people and journeys of food have been mapped according to the narratives of [Dining Stories], the collection of stories sent by various people, and can be found amongst those familiar products one normally finds on a kitchen shelf.

 

#07 > [Mix and match]
| sound and sight | lunchtime |

> Some say ‘you shouldn’t play with food darling’, others are invited to do so. [Mix and match] is a collection of board games that encourages the visitor to mix and match food ingredients that create parallel dishes which can be found both in Portugal and in Japan such as ‘Castella’ and ‘Pão-de-Ló’, ‘Tempura’ and ‘Peixinhos da Horta’, ‘Keiran Somen’ and ‘Fios de Ovos’, ‘Nambanzuke’ and ‘Escabeche’. The sequence of movements, as one plays, will recreate the steps one takes when cooking those parallel recipes, mixing and matching both versions of the similar dishes whilst creating their third variation.

 

#08 > [Off-white]
| sound and sight | lunchtime |

> What if by magic, the food we eat was converted into the objects we cook with? [Off-white] turns food into cooking objects and cooking utensils into pieces of art. Some of the peculiar Japanese cooking utensils one finds in most Japanese kitchens become [Off-white] almost edible pieces. Their colour and smell give a clue of what key ingredients, from Japanese and Portuguese cuisine, they are made of taking us into a domestic cooking environment where hot pots bubble with kombu dashi, where saibashi tilt and turn the vegetables inside a wok, where mushrooms with black sesame seeds sweat inside bamboo steamers.

 

#09 > [Ready, steady, eat]
| taste | dinner |

> Packaging is an international problem as it generates excessive waste and consequently pollution. In Japan packaging seems to be taken to an extreme. A nation where special attention to detail is always given, where minimal design is the rule and where every part of any food product is carefully re-created into another dish to minimize waste seems to rarely acknowledge how wasteful excessive packaging can be.

[Ready, steady, eat] plays with the idea of excessive packaging, no-time for cooking, eating on the go and dining on ones’ own. Traditional Portuguese and Japanese dishes described on [Dining Stories] have been converted in minimal ready meals, where each ingredient that makes up the dish has been carefully preserved in extra packaging, taking away the beauty of the dish as a whole, of cooking as a creative process and of food as a cyclic good.

 

#10 > [Guess who is coming for dinner…]
| taste | dinner |

> So, [Guess who is coming for dinner…]…. You, me and a hand full of people. Some already know each other, others will meet at [Table for 100’s] and share stories around and about food. Some will be neighbours, other will come from far, some speak the same language, others communicate through smiles… food is often the catalyst for a new conversation, a new friendship. The party has started and at least 100 guests are expected to join us the dinner at [Table for 100’s]… The guests seem to already be chatting to each other, so why not join them and have your say.

 

#11 > [Table for 100’s]
| taste | dinner |

> This journey through food and dining habits is about to reach its end as one approaches the rooftop. A surprise is waiting as one opens the door and finds a very long piece of furniture. At first it might not look like a table, but as a series of spaces of various heights and widths that go up, down, and around konya sky.

The table that gives name to the project registers the differences in heights when dining, the way food is served or cooked, the way people eat (in a social shared event or on one’s own), how people seat (or stand), how cross conversations are generated, how children and adults have a different presence when sitting at a table, how people interact or how they might be protective of their own space and time when dining.

All the registries collected before and during this stay in Fukuoka led to a collective design of a very long object, a dinning table that, at certain points, touches the ground, whilst at others becomes less like an object, and more like an imaginary space.

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§ 4 Responses to | exhibition

  • I am fan of her. Transparent human relationship is spoken in different way because that is universal idea beside us.
    However this project shows us that idea through our normal activity meaningful. I am fan of her.

  • Dominic Cullinan says:

    I really like the meandering narrative and the way it appears to be an continuous riff on the nature of place and food and how the table meanders too like it’s being taken for a walk………….

  • raquel maria palma says:

    Acho que a MESA é um lugar de convívio, quer em família, quer entre amigos e que deverá ser sempre valorizada como um meio de comunicação, troca de experiências e neste caso de culturas, com as suas afinidades e diferenças que segundo parece pelas imagens, terá sido bastante conseguido.

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