Lau Kaker selected for the Tokyo Art & Science Research Residency
posted by Milla Millasnoore on 17 June 2024

Our open call for the Tokyo & Art Science Research Residency 2024 received again many excellent applications. We want to thank each applicant for their interest in the Tokyo Art & Science Research Residency. In the end, artist and curator Lau Kaker was selected for this opportunity.

During their residency, Lau will be working with their ongoing research on interspecies communication revolving around the indigo color tradition in Japan, its processes (e.g., foraging, growing, fermenting and dyeing) and encounters between its plant matter, bacteria, more-than-humans and humans. They are planning to explore what happens within the fluidity of the vat, the stories told about indigo, and what is invited inside of its home. They will create a fermented indigo vat and collaborate with its bacterial communities, recording its tranformations and attempting different ways of listening, touching, communicating with them. Through its caring and craft gestures, Lau hopes to unravel a porous vat ‘language’, rituals of belonging that resonate with the rest of the world.

Furthermore, Lau is interested in the stories told about indigo, how people talk to the vat and what are the crafts practices around it – knotting, weaving, shibari, for example. They hope to be inspired by the textile culture in Japan and collaborate with local dyers, artists and scientists to deepen their understanding of the interspecies correspondences inhabiting the indigo vat.

“I’m looking forward to dive deeper into the aliveness of the indigo vat, and am very grateful for the human and more-than-human enconters to come”, Lau says.

Lau Kaker (they/them) is an artist and curator from Belgium based in Helsinki, Finland. They have worked with and are an active member of the Bioart Society and Maa-Tila in Helsinki. In their projects, they have been exploring the collective and fictional meaning of home, shaped by their research on the concept of belonging. They are working with intersections between anthropology, interspecies relationships, queer theories and artistic practices.

Lau’s research is collaboration based and rooted in Finland, investigating foraging and craft practices as different forms of correspondences with more-than-humans. During previous encounters, Lau has been growing knowledge beyond the boundaries of species, exploring connections with bacterias, sheep, fungi, plants, landscapes and waters. In this ongoing research, they wish to further research the concepts of domestication, place-making and belonging, weaving a wider understanding of communication between humans and the Land.

Lau will travel to Japan for the residency later in 2024.

The selection committee consisted of members of the BioClub Tokyo, The Finnish Institute in Japan and the Bioart Society. The residency will be hosted by BioClub Tokyo in partnership with the Finnish Institute in Japan.

Pictures of the process taken by Sara Spadinger.