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Collection Crates
Gabriel Bizen Akagawa

In this project, I use art shipping crates as sites for installation and collections. Each crate will act as a conduit through which the viewer will experience Japanese settings. A central crate will be a cabinet of curiosities. Subdivided shelves will hold souvenirs, keepsakes, and relics from my family and friends in Japan. The other crates will contain my memories and experiences in Japan. One will have bonsai trees lined across the top. Another will act as a vending machine, retrofitted with an embedded refrigerator so visitors may taste Ramune, an old-fashioned soda that my family has been drinking for three generations. A crate will be filled with dried rice, groomed like a Zen garden. Remaining surfaces will be decaled, like shipping labels, with various images such as prints of landscapes and locations I have photographed, acupressure charts, and Furoshiki (traditional scarf) folding diagrams. A last crate will be closed, appearing unaltered, but quietly playing a recording of the Ohm chant by my family’s Buddhist monk.