Mixed Media | Kiichiro Adachi

"Step into this disco booth for one, and experience dancing to your heart's content."

Artist: Kiichiro Adachi
Workpiece title: Mixed Media
Date: 15 January 2011
Singapore Art Museum @ 8Q (Trans-Cool TOKYO)

So basically the first thing you’ll see when you are going to enter this exhibit would be this sentence,

“Step into this disco booth for one, and experience dancing to your heart’s content.”

And this I believe, sets the mood and focus before we actually make it into the exhibit.


I found myself walking into a dim-lit room and in front of me stood a projector and beside it, a telephone booth. The projector showed a sample video of how this telephone booth actually worked and as it played this video, you can also hear upbeat songs at the same time. Inside the telephone booth however, I noticed that there was a disco ball and an iPod stationed on top and surrounding the walls of this booth are mirrors, inclusive of the door’s inner surface.


The concept behind this riveting workpiece is that this converted telephone booth serves as a one-man disco for those self-concious of their body in public. The mirrored interior of the booth serves to reassure (albeit falsely) the person inside that he or she is not exposed to the outside world, when in reality this is so.


Exploring concepts of society’s gaze and it’s reflection, Adachi aims to heighten one’s perception and sensitivity to the relationship one has to the immediate society and community one is living in. The work particularly comments on the supposed anonymity that technology such as the Internet gives people today, but this anonymity is in reality a false one.


So in Layman terms, I understand that he actually used the notion of a telephone booth supposedly being a private and confidential medium for personal phone calls and cleverly amalgamated this concept with society’s gaze and I think it’s brilliant because really, we do the most discreet and liberating things in a private or confidential space and dancing in an unspecified public place would most probably make us go ‘No way!’ Truth be told, everyone really is self-conscious, especially in public places because we tend to be afraid of how the society or others deem us to be and by extension, this ego that we also have hidden inside wouldn’t want us to perform this ultimate social suicide neither.

The atmosphere of this whole exhibit is rather liberating in a sense because we can clearly see 4 walls and a very faint entrance at the other end, separating us from the other parts of the museum. As a result, this makes us more comfortable and gives us a more private feeling at the same time. Plus the whole dim-lit room makes us feel really cozy and serene in some weird way.


Technically the visual impact I got was the fact that it was a really simple setup but also very clean as well. It was easy to take everything in and understand the designer’s whole take behind this exhibit. Moreover, it was interactive and I really like to get my hands dirty and actually do something there physically and get involved with how the designer wants to convey his message. I believe that the experience I’d get would be a whole lot more meaningful and memorable. From this, I really hope my experience viewing and getting immersed in such deep but innovative design concepts would be fruitful and serve as inspiration to me and my future in design.

Besides this, I’ve always loved to dance and I really understand why Adachi designed this booth in such a way because I can personally relate to our personal image and on society’s gaze. Honestly, if I were tasked to just randomly start dancing on the streets, I think I’d just die or maybe I could even shave all my hair off, change my name and become a hobo so that nobody could ever recognize me. In fact, hobos are actually kind of cool.


Syaifullah, signing off.


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