Studio Islander - Collaborative Art Unit -

Taro Hattori | Mayumi Hamanaka | Contact

Collaboration Project



2001, dimension variable in installation, size of 1 doll, 13” x3.5”x3.5”, digital print, mirror, plastic, barcode, barcode scanner, monitor

japanese males
turning tales


From "Immortality" by Milan Kundera
She opened the magazine again and said, "If you put the pictures of two different faces side by side, your eye is struck by everything that makes one different from the other. But if you have two hundred and twenty-three faces side by side, you suddenly realize that it's all just one face in many variations and that no such thing as an individual ever existed."

"We got our names, too merely by accident," she continued. "We don't know when our name came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired it. We don't understand our name at all, we don't know its history, and yet we bear it with exalted fidelity, we merge with it, we like it, we are ridiculously proud of it as if we had thought it up ourselves in a moment of brilliant inspiration. A face is like a name.

From "A Wild Sheep Chase" by Haruki Murakami
“Why do boats have names, but not airplanes?” I asked the chauffeur. “Why just Flight 971 or Flight 326 and not the Bellflower or the Daisy?”
“That’s just how it’d be. Names on ships are familiar from times before mass production. In principle, it amounts to the same thing as naming horses. So that airplanes treated like horses are actually given names too. There’s the Spirit of St. Louis and the Enola Gay. We are looking at a full-fledged conscious identification.”
“Which is to say that life is the basic concept here.”
“And that purpose, as such, is but a secondary element in naming.”
“Exactly. For purpose alone, numbers are enough. Witness the treatment of the Jews at Auschwitz.”
“Fine so far,” I said. “So let’s just say that the basis of naming is this act of conscious identification with living thing. Why then do train stations and parks and baseball stadiums have names, if they’re not living?”
“Because they’re not interchangeable, I suppose. For instance, there’s only one Shinjuku Station and you can’t just replace it with Shibuya Station. This non-interchangeability is to say that they’re not mass-produced. Are we clear on these two points?”
“If stations were interchangeable, what would that mean? If, for instance, all national railway stations were mass-produced fold-up buildings and Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Station were absolutely interchangeable?”
“Simple enough. If it’s in Shinjuku, it’d be Shinjuku Station; if it’s in Tokyo, it’d be Tokyo Station.”
“So what we’re talking about here is not the name of a physical object, but the name of a function. A role. Isn’t that purpose?”
The chauffeur fell silent. Only this time he didn’t stay silent for very long.
“You know what I think?” said the chauffeur.
“I think maybe we ought to cast a warmer eye on the subject.”
“I mean towns and parks and streets and stations and ball fields and movie theaters all have names, right? They are all given names in compensation for their fixity on the earth.”
A new theory.
“Well,” said I, “suppose I utterly obliterated my consciousness and became totally fixed, would I merit a fancy name?”
The chauffeur glanced at my face in the rearview mirror.
A suspicious look, “Fixed?”
“Say I froze in place, or something. Like Sleeping Beauty.”
“But you already have a name.”
“Right you are,” I said. “I nearly forgot.”

From "For whom the Bell Tolls"
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

From "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami
“Malta is not my real name,” said Malta Kano. “The Kano is real, but the Malta is a professional name I took from the island of Malta. Have you ever been to Malta, Mr. Okada? I said I had not. I had never been to Malta, and I had no plans to go to Malta in the near future. It had never even crossed my mind to go there. All I knew about Malta was the Herb Alpert performance of “The Sands of Malta”, an authentic stinker of a song.

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