A ‘City’ Shelter for Hermit Crabs

“Why Not Hand Over a ‘Shelter’ to Hermit Crabs?” was the title given to Aki Inomata’s architectural art project. The Japanese artist created a shelter for hermit crabs in the form of clear plastic shells. These shells, which had the form of various cities sculpted on them, were inhabited by hermit crabs as a natural process. The crabs usually look for vacated snail shells to inhabit, or even pieces of wood, stone or plastic.

Courtesy of Aki Inomata

Courtesy of Aki Inomata

Therefore, Inomata’s work of art was just a substitute for their usual shells. However, special attention should be paid to the weight and size of these shells which sometimes can be difficult to adjust manually. Using a highly detailed 3D printer, the artist was able to creatively construct these hermit crab shelters in the form of cities to carry on their backs.

This unique project was inspired from a simple real-estate transaction of an embassy between the governments of France and Japan which arouse the ideas of ownership, nationality, and migration into the artist’s mind. Buildings of New York, Thailand, and Greece were some of the designs drawn on Aki Inomata’s masterpieces.

Courtesy of Aki Inomata

Courtesy of Aki Inomata

By:Ala’ Abuhasan

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