Yuka Oyama: Helpers – Changing homes

Yuka Oyama’s artwork “Helpers – changing homes” asks us to consider how certain objects we own might help us define a sense of ‘home’. She says:

“Up until the age of 30, I moved from Malaysia to Japan, Indonesia, USA and Germany. As a result, I have naturally begun to question my sense of home and identity.

Later, while commuting between Berlin and Oslo, I began to observe the objects I carried with me. They were things I needed to sustain my work and communication such as a laptop and a smartphone, as well as other essential items for contemporary living such as my credit card, passport, keys and medicine. However, the most indispensable objects I kept close were non-functional: a teddy bear that my son gave me, a ring I inherited from my grandmother, a sketchbook and family photographs. These items describe who I am, remind me of previous homes, and support me emotionally while I live in transience.”

To make “Helpers – changing homes”, Oyama will conduct interviews with volunteer collaborators to unearth stories about objects of significance to them that represent their experiences, feelings, and memories.

She will then create wearable, mask-like sculptures and smaller 3D printed souvenir pendants of these.

After this, Oyama will workshop with volunteers to create a performance that brings together their wearable sculptures and stories. This will be performed to a live audience at the end of Oyama’s residency.


Asia New Zealand Foundation The Dowse