Taking place within a global academic conference on urban nature, FRIEK plays the role of disrupter. However, the ethos of our disruption is not to attack, blame, or separate, but instead to open new channels of awareness, collaboration, and connection.
Invited by the Japanese retailer MUJI, to host a series about ‘connecting to nature’ in their new flagship store, we aimed to plant seeds of change in people’s minds. Can a store like MUJI really align with nature?
For two hours, we asked shoppers in the world’s largest MUJI store (無印良品) near Osaka, Japan to stop shopping, slow down, and re-connect with nature. Here’s what happened…
An ecological art lab and pocket farm located in Osaka, Japan conceived and built by Patrick M. Lydon and Suhee Kang with help from donors and volunteers from Japan and around the world. The space hosts community workshops and exhibitions by an international cast of resident artists, all aimed at re-kindling our relationship with nature.
A temporary restaurant is the opening scene for a multiple-month community based arts and ecology project where we bring to life an empty plot of urban land and invite the community to cultivate food, relationships, and creativity.
A team building exercise where groups work together to build a giant mandala from locally-foraged natural materials, celebrating local nature, and building stronger relationships with the environment and each other.
Participants learn simple ways to preserve and use plants to make postcards, exploring the shapes, textures, and colors of local plants, and using them to tell the story of places in more delicate and intimate ways than a traditional postcard.
An art-making workshop where participants discover the importance of the billions of individual living beings in the soil as we slowly delicately, and mindfully explore the myriad colors and life to be found in soil, stone, and other local natural elements.
Comprising over 7,000 individual leaves collected from beneath a tree, this temporary ‘meditative” installation was created in public view over the course of four weeks at Contemporary Art Space Osaka as part of the Robert Callender International Residency.
Built along natural farming principals, we transform an empty urban lot into a natural garden based on empathy with all living things, including the weeds, bugs, and all of the life that enters the space. This empathy is woven into a series of arts and environment workshops, and eventually carried into the community by those who visit the garden.