To be honest, I don’t know much about plants. Although there are times when I get the inspiration to grow some plants in my apartment like other people, so I buy some and bring them home; and then after about a week or two, they always end up dead. I remember there was one potted plant in my old backyard in Tokyo… Since it was top heavy, it fell over on its side one day. I was too lazy to turn it right side up, so I just left it that way since it was already dead. Since my backyard was rather pathetic and there was nothing else there besides that plant, I had no reason to go out there until three months later when I had to check on something. It was then that I noticed that the plant was actually still alive. To my surprise, it had grown three times its original size even though it was still lying on its side and I hadn’t watered it since. I realized then and there that it was better for me to not get involved and to just let plants be… so about a month ago when the other six members in the artist group, Hajimeten, decided that we should do a plant themed exhibition for this year’s Rokko Meets Art Festival, I thought it was the worst idea ever, especially when they decided to build a garden on a mountain top in the middle of one of our exhibition spaces.
In the end, the show wasn’t a disaster after all. What I did learn from doing this exhibition was not so much about plants but about how hard it was working in groups. Actually every time we had worked together on an exhibition, which has been twice so far- to my surprise, I was transported back into a place like high school where the loudest people (or the ones with the strongest personalities) lead and made all the decisions while the quieter ones just lingered in the shadows and were filled with their own insecurities… Insecurities that I had thought I had overcome years ago, but discovered when put in a certain situation (situations similar to high school), they would come back again just as strong as ever… but still, sometimes there were these nice little moments when we worked together as a team, like the time everyday around 5:00 p.m. when the sunlight came in through the windows highlighting everything that we were doing and making it feel like all the work and sweat that we were putting in as well as all the troubles that we were dealing with would be worth it in the end.
I also learned that big butterflies are not scared of people like the little ones; wild boars often hang out in the same places so after you discover them, they are easy to find day after day; foxes will come up to you if you see them on the street; you shouldn’t rub your eyes after touching random plants, and most importantly, you shouldn’t smoke under a beehive unless you want to be stung.