taipei 02
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october 21, 2001

First day of the Sapporo workshop. After the 22 students briefly introduced themselves to each other, we began the first project right away. The first project was the face drawing / mapping project, as it was in Tokyo this year.

Also as in the Tokyo workshop, they did not show any of their own work at the beginning of the workshop. It seems to be the perfect way to begin making the point of the experience a bit more obvious perhaps. Because the point of the workshops is not to learn how to make work like tomato, not to learn how to imitate their style, but to find your own voice and style, to tune in to your own process. In the context of the workshops, you wonder how there could be any other way except your own.

As is typically the case with the face drawing project, everyone usually begins by drawing what they know, what they think is expected of them to draw. But after an entire day of this type of exploration, there is always some breakthroughs. As Dirk put it, when people are starting to have a real experience, not simply doing what they think they should be doing. As the day moved on and it got dark outside, no one turned on the lights. The atmosphere got very intense and it really felt like everyone was giving in to the process.

The point of the project? To let go and to relax. To go somewhere you may not have been before by doing something you probably don't do in your everyday routine.

The feeling of this workshop is very different, of course, than Tokyo. A little less than a third of the people, and the majority are Japanese. The general vibe of the first day was one of mediation and relaxation. Perhaps this is because it is sapporo and not Tokyo, maybe it is because it is a smaller group and there is more time so the feeling that you need to hurry and rush is not in the air.