From Here To There: Nobutaka Aozaki's Map of Manhattan
New York artist Nobutaka Aozaki, an artist born in Kagoshima, Japan, takes us on a journey with one of the most interesting “on the ground” art pieces we’ve seen in a while.
Aozaki has a tendency to use the world around him to create his work - often leading to projects that feel "lived in". Often, the materials featured in the artists work are common items; starbucks cups, scraps of paper, or "foil wrapped chocolate bars" being a few of them. Aozaki's work has a "ready made" feel too it, with a grounding in minimalism.
In the collection “From Here to There”, Aozaki compiles a living map of the United States' most sprawling city. The kicker? The map is entirely made of handwritten directions that were given to him by strangers.
In Aozaki's write-up of the project, he describes the process saying;
"Pretending to be a tourist by wearing a souvenir cap and carrying a shopping bag of Century 21, a major tourist shopping place, I ask various New York pedestrians to draw a map to direct me to another location. I connect and place these small maps based on actual geography in order to make them function as parts of a larger map."
While the usability of the map is questionable - the time and patience behind this project isn’t. It's not often that you stumble across a project that connects so many people (without them even knowing). In this case, Aozaki becomes a conduit for the people he get's direction from to become closer to their community - and that's honestly a lot of fun.
Anyways - we hope you love this one as much as we do. If you get a chance, take the time to look through some of Aozaki's other projects at www.nobutakaaozaki.com