Big in Japan

2021, work in progress

video (20 min.),
Coin (acrylic resin, 15cm across)

Installation view at Barim, photo – Boeui Hong

“Big in Japan” is more or less an idiom in the Western world. It symbolizes the idea of being successful in another country while remaining relatively irrelevant in one’s own homeland. But then, where can Japanese people dream of becoming big?

After experiencing to design a commemorative coin of Anton Geesink (Dutch Judo Olympic champion) in the competition of De Nederlandsche Bank, Hagiwara realized it as a plastic gold medal that depicted the perfect circle of original Judo. Besides it, the video narrates the history of Judo that how Japanese martial art became an Olympic sport after adapting to different conditions and contexts in the world. In these process of changing, loss of detail due to translation was constant and it conducted complex result of becoming big.