Aki Inomata is a native Japanese artist living and working in Tokyo, the city of her birth. Born in 1983, this young artist has been working with 3D printing technologies for a number of years, most notably with an ongoing project that she calls: Why Not Hand Over a Shelter to Hermit Crabs? At the most basic level, what Aki is doing is offering these creatures, born without their own shelter, a 3D printed alternative to otherwise empty shells. At a deeper level, the artist says she is exploring common concerns between these creatures and humans, namely nationality, migration and identity.
It certainly gets you thinking — where do we belong?
But even if that’s not of primary concern, Aki’s work is sure to draw a smile — it is simply stunning as each shell is representative of some of the world’s most beautiful, and recognizable, architecture, including New York skyscrapers, buildings in her native Tokyo together with temples and buildings in Bangkok and on Greek Islands.
The hermit crab project first originated in 2009 when Aki participated in the “No Man’s land” exhibition that was held in the French Embassy in Japan in 2009 — “inspired by the fact that the land of the former French Embassy in Japan had been French until October 2009, and became Japanese for the following fifty years, before being returned to France. The same piece of land is peacefully transferred from one country to the other.” It has been ongoing since then and the complete range is a global statement, as can be seen in the gallery below:[nggallery id=109]
Some of the crabs chose to remain in their 3D printed homes over more traditional alternatives.
For more insight into Aki’s work the following video can be viewed at your leisure.
Source: Aki Inomata
Images Credit: Aki Inomata