1 9 9 4
pet | dad | little sis | me | big sis | mam | pop | bre'r
This was an original photograph print of Nikki’s Family.
Order Made Family art project,
54 second from 8min length original short video,
Talking About Amy (directed by Yoriko Murakami),
2006 ©Yoriko Murakami, USC
Amy is Rica’s birth name
Nikki’s Family: Order Made Family, Peekaboo art project, Shinjuku, Japan 1996
Passersby who didn’t know each other made up family members and took a family photo.
There has been a disposition that people respect patriarchal and feudalistic family. It is still remaining persistently even now in Japan. Since I questioned that stereotype, I held Order Made Family, a participatory public art project on the street in Tokyo. The project asked passersby to define the word family. Would it involve living together, or being related to each other by blood, financial ties, or emotional bonds? Each participant chose from a list of possible individuals those they would embody their ideal family picture, which neither had to be parallel to their actual family make-up nor did the boards have to visually match the label or identity of that family member. Then they have to pick Peekaboo-sculptures to present each of the individuals they had selected.
Now numbering over 100, these life-sized Peekaboo-sculptures include various ages and races or nationalities. The Peekaboo-sculpture selected doesn’t have to reflect the actual age, sex, race or nationality, or even animated state of that family member, who in turn already may not mirror the participant’s actual family make-up.
After each Peekaboo-sculptures has been picked, a ‘family name tag’ was labeled to identify to the sculpture represent. I asked other passersby to help sticking their faces through the Peekaboos to take their virtual family pictures. Commemorative photographs that are same number of family member are taken with instant camera. The photograph is given to each participant as a souvenir.
Resulting family portraits included members who were multinational, same-sex, cohabitating friends, and even inanimate objects in addition to more traditional combinations, all of were borderless and explored modern interpretations of the definition of family.
This Nikki’s family photograph is one from about 800 family portraits that taken at Order Made Family during 1994-2000 in Harajuku, Shinjuku, and Kouenji in Tokyo, Japan.
Reference (top): This was an original photograph print of Nikki’s Family.