Explore Japanese culture in Stratford exhibition

Tokyo Diary at Stratford Circus Picture credit: Donnall OFearraig

Tokyo Diary at Stratford Circus Picture credit: Donnall OFearraig - Credit: Archant

Experience what life was like in Japan with a new exhibition at Stratford Circus.

Artist, Alison Marchant, is sharing her story of living in Japan through a series of souvenirs she gathered while staying there in 1992.

Alison, a part time lecturer, said the installation, which is composed from pocket-size souvenirs collected two decades ago, gives an insight into the rich culture she was lucky enough to experience during her travels.

Altogether, the exhibition, which is held across three floors, and is free to attend, has in the region of 50 installations, ranging from photographs to tickets she collected during her year long stay.

She said: “It has been really exciting and the reactions have been amazing.

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“During the opening, I had a few people who are originally from Japan come and view my installations and they were very impressed, which is very nice to hear.”

The artist decided to head to Japan to live with relatives after after the Arts School student occupations against cuts in lecturing staff had swept across the country in 1992.

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She even managed to find part-time work in an English school during her stay.

She said: “I had the advantage of my brother living there with his family.

“So I was able to experience the culture from the beginning and not as a tourist would for a two-week honeymoon period and it is something that I really enjoyed,

“I haven’t been back since, but now I think I really should since working on this installation.”

The exhibition will be housed at Stratford Circus until August 26.

“There is a charming energy and humour to some of the packaging which I’d collected and packed like a time-capsule in seaweed boxes,” Alison added.

“There is a mixture and since then some of the packing has become more ordinary and more widely ready available, a few are almost vintage.

“Collecting souvenirs is something more akin to my generation and earlier I think; today most people would just take a photo on their I-Phone.”

The installation also includes three table tops filled with tickets and small souveniers Alison collected. For more information visit stratford-circus.com

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