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.

Volunteering in this collaborative work means you get the chance to work with an interesting and well connected international artist, who is passionate about performance and how this relates to ideas about objects and jewellery in our lives. It also means you get the opportunity to feature in Yuka’s solo exhibition at Te Whare Hēra gallery and a significant international exhibition, The Language of Things, at The Dowse Art Museum from February 23, 2018 – June 17, 2018, where the filmed performance, wearable sculptures, souvenirs and documentation will be exhibited.

As a thank you, all volunteer collaborators will be given a copy of their 3D printed, souvenir pendants of themselves.

Asia New Zealand Foundation The Dowse

  • Information for volunteers

    November, 2017 (approx. 2 hours)
    Oyama will interview people who have lived transient lives and migrated to Wellington, New Zealand. Through the interview Oyama will investigate what kinds of objects were carried with her collaborators and how these objects helped them find stability when everything else in their external worlds changed dramatically.

    Oyama will then construct a wearable, mask- like sculpture for each person.

    December, 2017 (approx. 2 hours)
    Using 3D scanning technology Oyama will scan the participants wearing their sculpture. This ‘double’ of participants and their wearable sculpture will be fabricated into a souvenir pendant.

    January, 2018 (approx. 5 hours)

    Yuka will work with the entire group of volunteers to create and practice the final performance.

    January, 2018 (approx. 3 hours)

    The highlight of the artwork will be a live public performance at the end of Oyama’s residency. Each volunteer story-teller will wear their sculpture during the performance.

    It is estimated that volunteer collaborators will need to commit approximately 12 hours between November 2017 and January 2018 in phases 1, 3, 4 and 5 of this project. If you would like to volunteer please fill out this google docs form by October 25. It will help Yuka as she selects participants for this special project.

    Yuka and the team at Te Whare Hēra will be in touch with next steps on October 31.