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 symbolises the idea of being successful in another country while remaining relatively irrelevant in one’s own homeland. Not here, but somewhere else… But then, where can Japanese people dream of becoming big?

Along with the experience of designing a commemorative coin for dutch Judo champion Anton Geesink, I narrate the history of Judo – Japanese martial art which became an Olympic sport after diffusing and adapting to different conditions and contexts in the world. In the process of changing, loss of detail due to translation was constant and it brought a contradictory result of becoming big.