Nice To Meet You, 2011

September 25th, 2011 at Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY

In collaboration with Tomoe Matsuoka.

Thanks to
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Our performance explores physical and psychological landscape of Hikikomori individuals.

Today’s Hikikomori/social withdrawal phenomenon portrays a landscape with many more layers compared to that of ten years ago. Online shopping and online food services have created a platform for a person to safely withdraw and confine him/herself. At the same time websites, blogs and social networking become a tool for him/her to retain a loose connection to the outside world or even a way to express his/her voice. While the Internet enables a lifestyle of a minimum interaction between an individual and a society, it is also the lifeline to “the normality” of life. Social networking is used to find like-minded people or a community, which is arguably harder to find with a traditional mode of interaction (face-to-face). Relationships cultivated over online networking may become a reason to emerge from his/her introverted environment and therefore a potential means for reintegration into society.

We feel that the desire of social withdrawal is in every one of us. The duration may vary from a moment, days, weeks and years, but we can relate to those who chose to live in hikikomori.
In our performance we represent two individuals in this state, living in the identical structure and appearing normal. They nest in their own world while loosely connected to the outside world through Internet and occasional face-to-face interaction with a person of their choices. The story unfolds to show how the environment of these two individuals change over time.