For someone who’s constantly searching for new things to do, it’s been a looong time since I last went out and about in Sydney. After all, I’ve barely even been in the country these past few months! My friend and I decided it was time for a catch up, so we ended up having an artsy day out. Since it’s summer there have been loads of free activities in the city, aimed at both little kids and big kids alike. Despite the heatwave, it was definitely a nice break from the usual routine!
Ever since I heard Sydney Festival was hosting ‘Jurassic Plastic’, a free installation by the artist Hiroshi Fuji, I knew I had to see it for myself. Funnily enough, the work’s original name in Japanese is something completely different, ‘Where have all these toys come from?’ (なぜこんなにおもちゃが集まるのか？). As it turns out, Fuji’s long time project is actually Kaekko (かえっこ), a system where children have exchanged unloved toys between themselves since 2000. Having collected thousands of old toys through the project, Fuji gave them a new lease on life by transforming them into dinosaurs and sprawling landscapes.
So many Doraemons, so little time! Obviously, seeing all those familiar characters brought out my nostalgic side. Yet the longer you look at it, the clearer the gravity of the situation becomes. It was a bit sobering to realise that in reality, toys like these have one of two fates – to either sit collecting dust, or be discarded unceremoniously. When you think of it that way, the issue of waste hits home for people a lot more than they’re willing to admit. After all, it’s easy to adopt an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality when it comes to the amount of stuff we own.
On the same day we stopped by the Powerhouse Museum, where we saw an interactive light exhibit by teamLab. It was pretty amusing; one concept basically involved designing your own vehicle or house, scanning it and seeing it pop up in a virtual city! Obviously, my friend and I ended up being the oldest (childless) people there. Nevertheless, it’s always fun to let out your inner kid, if only for a day. Here’s hoping I can get around to doing more art-related things this year!