Takamiya Koji (JP): Otama Garden 2004 Kuopio

“Otama” is a knitted tadpole. It is useless, meaningless. It is just a tadpole toy.
Otama is Takamiya’s work, but at the same time it is also a character that everybody can make. There is only one rule in otama making: it has to be a knitted woollen tadpole. Since it is just up to the person knitting, every otama is very personal and characteristic. Colors, sizes, faces… all are up to you and you will see a tadpole having ears (even hairy ones) or wearing glasses!

In Japan, there is a cultural aspect called “character culture” which is strongly involved with commercialization. Commercialization has also brought with it peculiar fringe phenomena like obsessive collecting which has even led to a tendency of keeping toys sealed in their boxes for later sales purposes. Takamiya wants to ask, doesn’t a toy have its meaning in being touched and played with and in being felt with our senses?

For Otama Garden 2004 Kuopio, Takamiya will bring 2004 otamas knitted by him and otama users. The day care center will be transformed to a sanctuary of 2004 otamas. You may knit your own otamas in the workshop, and please show them at the otama website (www.otama.tv). Otama Garden 2004 Kuopio will then be finally completed.