Artist Refugee



While based in Berlin I continued to work as an artist all over the world. After the global economic crisis in 2008, my exhibition in Korea was cancelled unexpectedly. I began to experience great difficulty as an artist and so decided to work in a part-time job during my stay in Japan for the exhibition. As the "Internet Coffee Refugee"* became a major social problem in Japanese society, I became an "Artist Refugee" who could not afford to rent a flat. I slept in the exhibition venue during its open hours, 10:00-18:00 and then went for the night shift job after the venue was closed. I was already 37 years old. It is not easy or appropriate for middle aged people to find a part time job in Japanese society. This special project documented the process of the job hunting and revealed the harsh reality of being an artist the current global economic climate.

*:Internet Coffee Refugee - People who can’t afford to rent the flat and they live in the internet coffee even though they work hard.

The 1st Tokorozawa Biennial of Contemporary Art, SEIBU Railway Co.,LTD., Tokorozawa, Japan

August 2009

Photos: Tadasu YAMAMOTO