japanese art, design and culture
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From Here to There | the art of asking for directions

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Outfitted in a souvenir baseball cap and Century 21 shopping bag, Japanese artist Nobutaka Aozaki hits the streets of Manhattan, asking strangers for directions wherever he goes. However, Aozaki is not a tourist nor does he have a horrible sense of direction. This is “From Here to There,” an ongoing art piece in which Aozaki is constructing a map of Manhattan based on hand-drawn directions people create for him.

“Sometimes my destinations come from Japanese guide books but other times they’re just where I’m headed to meet friends or, if I’m hungry, to get a bite to eat,” Aozaki tells us. The NY-based artist isn’t necessarily trying to complete the map. What’s more important is that the artistic process reflects his daily life; almost like a diary.

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“But this is becoming a lost form of communication,” Aozaki points out. “Most people just pull out their smartphone and try to show me a map. When this happens I tell them I’ll forgot so please draw me directions!”

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1 comment

1 Larry Esser { 08.13.13 at 7:04 pm }

There is some reason to want hand-drawn maps, this is because landmarks change all the time and it is best to talk with someone who knows the landscape as it really is today and can draw the best map. Digital maps are always behind the times.