Have you ever wondered about those hermit crabs, it’s really impressive how each carry their own world right on their backs. I sure know I did, with one question in mind, why do their shells have a certain pattern/shape? Can they live in other shapes? An intriguing way of living those creatures have.
Apparently, Japanese artist Aki Inomata had that same question in mind working on her project: “Why Not Hand Over a ‘Shelter’ to Hermit Crabs?”
Her inspiration for this project arose upon her participation on the “No Man’s Land” exhibition, “inspired by the fact that the land of the former French Embassy in Japan had been French until October 2009, and then became Japanese for the following fifty years, after which it will be returned to France. I was surprised to hear this story, and associated this image with the way that hermit crabs exchange shelters. A piece of land is peacefully exchanged between two countries. While it is the same piece of land, our definition of it changes” says Inomata.
In the same sense those crabs exchange shelters to make them their own, same space different inhabitant. The only exception in this case that Inomata’s shells are made to represent cities of the world, creating a metaphor that simulates the exchange of national cities shelters to immigrants and refugees who change their nationalities and shelters (places they live).
This project started by handing over a cylinder shaped shelter for hermit crabs to live in, where those were rejected by the inhabitants (Hermit Crabs). The next stage involved CT scans, Modeling and 3D printing creating a much similar shape to their original shelter, where it was a success of the project since the crabs spontaneously inhabited those printed 3DCG data.
By Yosra Abdel-Rahman