top of page

Tatsumi Orimoto

Big Shoes

Grandmother's Lunch


Tatsumi Orimoto hosted Grandmother's Lunch at The Grand Burstin Folkestone for Leaving Language and his sculpture Big Shoes were on show at The Metropole Gallery Folkestone in England.

Tatsumi Orimoto has created a unique relationship to the mediums of performance, film and photography enabling an audience to become essential participants in the production of Art. With instant imaging his strategy now seems like a prophetic paradigm, understanding the dominance of photos in the construction of identity and memory.


This is how memory haunts the world in which we live: it is through shrines that the dead are remembered, the past recedes away from us and fills the spaces between everything.

This exhibition began on a warm Spring evening in Japani, the curator was playing with Art Mama while Tatsumi Orimoto cooked, it was the last night in Japan where introductions had been to Artists Midori Mitamura, Noe Aoki and Mio Shirai at Tatsumi Orimoto’s retrospective Art X Life at Kawasaki City Museum.

The following year in May a performance in Venice called "I Make Up And Become Mama". Tatsumi Orimoto had walked across the Rialto Bridge and through Piazza San Marco wearing the giant Big Shoes made for Art Mama. The scene inhabited a place similar to a reel of film dropped on the editing room floor,  a tragic spectacle, unexpected in its poignancy and heightened by a shuffling melancholia. 


No matter how much the Artist tried to forget, home was far away, distracted by the impending and inevitable passing of Art Mama over the river to the afterworld, which happened two weeks after his return.

Those red shoes were placed by a suitcase that took them to Italy together with small photos of his Mother making Art with him. Perhaps it was the spirit of a Art Mama who summoned the hail that fell ferociously on the opening day of the exhibition, it cascaded down streets and created waterfalls in the thunder and lightening.

This weather shook the Sugarloaf and other hills around the Seaside town and threatened to rain off lunch for Arty Grandmothers scheduled for that afternoon. Despite these conditions the intrepid and curious did arrive and proceeded to first make an installation by collectively emptying out handbags, while discussing how many Grandchildren they had.  Much to the amusement of the staff. who had seen all types of intoxication and bad behaviour but this was something new.

In the iconic Grand Burstin Hotel where Tatsumi Orimoto was staying, the Artist explained to those assembled Grandmothers that all of the people in the famous tyre portraits were gone, it was a simple statement of mortality easily forgotten after the first course. By the end of the lunch the guests were singing the "White Cliffs Of Dover" and a raucous and poignant Victorian ditty called "She Was Poor But She Was Honest" (It's the Same the Whole World Over). A lyrical tale about the misfortunes of women in a world dominated by pimps and the aristocrats.


Waugh Office was established in 2011 by Julia Waugh and Mark Waugh,

 as a hybrid platform curating exhibitions, events and publications internationally

Privacy Policy

© Waugh Office 2024.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
bottom of page