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Photos: Dean Powell, courtesy of Mobilia Gallery
This piece is about a family traveling to different places in Japan. Each ball has a face of a family member; the images of the faces are embedded in the balls.
The balls visit a temple, zen garden, Mt. Fuji, shinto shrine, hot spring, castle, and sushi restaurant. They greet the Buddha, visit shops, ride on the elevated highway, and take a ride on the Shinkansen bullet train.
This piece is constructed in four layers. The balls disappear and reappear in different places. For example, the ball crosses the bridge and enters the tunnel, and then reemerges by falling onto the waterfall, then rides along the puff of steam from the tea, finally landing inside the tea cup that the man inside the restaurant is holding.
When a ball is hit, some parts spin, nod or bounce. For example, if the ball falls into the hot tub, a naked woman pops up.
If the ball goes to places that are numbered 0, 25, 50, or 100, you win prizes inside the drawers that have the corresponding numbers on the bottom:
0 score: When the ball falls inside the ocean, the “prize” is a hissing coach roach. (I actually bought a live Madagascar Hissing Cockroach and examined it in great detail in order to make the metal bug’s joints accurate and movable.)
25 score: An etched image of a girl with a thaumatrope (VIctorian optical toy). This piece is a wearable brooch.
50 score: A sewing kit, including a marking pin and thimble. The marking pins are babies’ heads and birds in the bed of a pin cushion, and the horse goes around the etched images of buildings on the thimble.
100 score: A picnic basket with sandwich. When the inner layers of the sandwich piles up, it looks just like a normal sandwich, but once you open it, you see different kinds of images with which you can create your own story.
Copyright ©2015, Mariko Kusumoto. All right reserved.