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> > Gini

Artist and wordsmith, whose work engages with issues of access, from acknowledged physical needs to perceived symbolic exclusions. After being selected as one of DAO's New Voices in 2011, Gini's online presence has become an integral part of her arts practice

Unlimited missing

8 August 2014

Blog

photo of a toy lamb, yellow with red ears and feet, harnassed into a black, baby-car-seat

Oh no! I won't be there. I'm so sorry; truly sad, mostly for myself, but also because I feel like I'm letting everyone down. I can't make it and it's definitely not because I feel like the second is an anti-climax; after the first one I'm even keener on a second. I was like that with my own children. Sort of timid about the first: over-the-moon, but scared of the unknown. And then, well words fail me. It was amazing, he was amazing and I couldn't...

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Tokyo first class

25 August 2014

Blog

my toes, complete with gold nail varnish, proped up on the footstool at the end of my seat in the first class part of the plane. The decor is grey metal and plastic, the seating black leather (?) and apart from my toes my legs are encased in blue and whit

You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but times change and flying gets more stressful as the world grows steadily more bizarre. Checking in with my wheelchair became a strange Groundhog-type scenario. Three times at different points I was required to give the same information about my chair, far more detailed info than in previous years, and even then I was stopped before actually boarding, and required to give wheelchair details that had somehow been missed. Checking in I was given a...

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Greeting Tokyo

26 August 2014

Blog

A view of the river Sumida from a bridge looking down at riverside access and along the river to a second bridge and the banks lined with tall buildings.

A smooth landing and fast, easy entry into the land of the rising sun, sees me speeding in a Skyliner train into Tokyo from Narita airport. The journey is familiar. Japan's created geography can change as speedily as that traumatised by the natural phenomena that occur in this part of the world, yet certain things remain. The perfect rectangles of cultivated land, and the jungle effects of foresting trees dwarfed by bamboo - all tangled together with rampant vines, these things repeat...

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seeing diversity

27 August 2014

Blog

View of the brand new road surface, already complete with road markings

Approaching the Tokyo apartment, I'd made a joke about the familiar British look of the very patched up road outside. Next morning it was gone - the road that is. There was merely a river of rubble. The workmen looked very concerned when they saw me looking to exit the main entrance of the building for a day out, but we assured them I could leave the other way - through the bicycle storage area. It has one steep step which, with help, is just possible to negotiate. In the early evening...

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Tsukiji, kabuki and giraffes

28 August 2014

Blog

A colourful poster for the new season kabuki performance, with the all male caste in traditional Japanese costume and made up as males and females, heroes and villains

It's the biting season, hot and humid with the electric fizz of cicadas interfering with my tinnitus. I make a second foray to the river - passing a gigantic hole in the ground where a new building will shortly enhance the space. The earth is a rich dark brown, almost black in places; the river itself is less red-brown, more grey today. I decide to roll on into Tsukiji, the Tokyo fish market, and maybe further to reacquaint myself with the new Kabuki theatre and Wako - surely the most...

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Identity crisis?

29 August 2014

Blog

A grey and white gull sitting on the blue railings alongside the Sumida river has the brownish river and pinkish skyscrapers for a background on a grey overcaste day

Waiting for the guys to come and service my wheelchair, I watched the tail-end of a TV programme that had a sweet sounding Japanese female cooing about the laying and hatching of insect eggs and the emergence of new life. It was followed by a male voice talking the science of stars in the night sky. A young female appeared on screen with a sketch pad, followed by a mature male who explained the sky to her and allowed her to look through his giant telescope while she marvelled and cooed in...

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Conversing in English

30 August 2014

Blog

This Japanese notice also warns in English  'KEEP OUT bicycle skateboard' has a cartoon kid looking cross, together with an image of a bicycle and a skateboard

Making the best sense I can of the little bits of Tokyo I am becoming familiar with is a gradual thing. Nothing is static, nothing is set in stone. And the Japanese strangers who converse with me may have their own agenda. More Japanese than ever are making the attempt. Notices and instructions in English are increasing, I put this all down to preparations for the Olympics - it's a prestige thing. A conversation about culture leads into talking fairy tales. How do children get introduced to...

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Toranomon - Tiger's Gate

31 August 2014

Blog

Two plastic looking cartoon characters, presumably both cats, stood infront of glass and steel doors that look out on greenery and more skyscrapers. The cat figures are bith weaing colars with brass bells around their necks. Like humans they stand upright

Today's outing to Roppongi is to see a display of 60 variations on what looks to me like a cartoon cat; a blue blob with whiskers who can go anywhere through a magic door. I'm optimistically reminded of the 100 or so artist decorated figures I discovered in the skyscraper Marunouchi Building on a previous visit. When we get there, the Roppongi Hills figures have gone, but there is a lot of promotional material for a Gaudi exhibition at the Mori Gallery - an outing for next week. A snap...

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