[ 14歳と世界と境/14 years old & the world & borders ]



From 2013 onwards, I started to do workshops in different places, in various secondary schools in different countries. I asked students to observe and search out the “surrounding boundaries” in their lives, and then write texts about them in class; this was serialised in local newspapers. 

高校生になるとその川は境界線ではなくなった。   今では色々な国境を越えて旅をすることが当たり前になったが、中学校の頃の川の風景を今でもたまに 印象的に思い出す。
14歳はまだ世界も広くなく、大人と子どもの間を揺れる年代。そんな彼らが持っている「境界線」とは一体どのようなものなのか。このプロジェクトは、14歳(中学 2年生)の子どもたちに「身の回りの境界線を探す」という特別授業を行い、彼らの発見した境界線の話をその地元の新聞に掲載するものである。彼らが見ている日常の風景が綴られた文章は、「14歳と世界と境」という小さな連載になる。新聞を舞台に、様々なニュースとともに、 14歳の小さな世界の物語が発表されていく。


When I was 14 years old, the river near my school was the edge of my world.
In high school, that river was easily crossed, not a boundary at all.
Now, I find myself traversing the globe without a second thought.
Yet I still look back, with a certain fondness, on that river of my youth.

Fourteen is an age when we find ourselves caught between childhood and adulthood, and the world is still such a small place for us. What kind of “borders” do fourteen-year-olds face? This project involves giving fourteen-year-old eighth graders a special class called “Finding the Boundaries Around You” and publishing the stories of their discoveries in their local newspaper. These writings, which describe their everyday occurrences, become a small serial titled, “14 years old & world & borders.” The story of a fourteen-year-old’s tiny world is presented in a newspaper format alongside a variety of news.
Until now, the project has been conducted in many junior high schools throughout Japan and in other countries, where it has been serialized in local newspapers like The Chunichi Shimbun, Sanyo Shimbun, Okinawa Times, Ming Pao (Hong Kong), and Kwangju Ilbo (Korea).


2013.6.26 – 2013.11.6

I have never been overseas. Why do people choose to leave Japan and go abroad? I think it may be because overseas countries are wonderful and beautiful. There is danger overseas too, but I would like to see some beautiful things. (Takumu Takahashi / Dream for the future: to work in a Space-related job)
My room is shared with my younger brother and is separated only by a pink polka-dot curtain. I walk through my brother’s room, past the curtain and enter my own world. There, I am surrounded by the things I like. Once I go back past the curtain, my brother’s things are everywhere. (Yuka Takakura /Dream for the future: Bridal Coordinator) (2013.6.26 中日新聞 chunichi newspaper)

I transferred schools from a different prefecture. Now, I have lots of friends but at first hardly anyone spoke to me. I think that is because I just couldn’t get across the line I had put up between myself and my friends. One day a friend approached me and the barrier inside me melted away. (Shimomura Yuiko/Place I want to go: I want to speak and make friends with people from many countries.)
I am often mistaken for a boy when I am in my own clothes. (Takeya Yukiko/Dream for the future: Veterinarian)

「山陽新聞朝刊」全10回連載 (週1回)
2016.9.26 – 2016.11.19

If you climb onto the banks of the Hyakken River, you can see 180 degrees of sky. The view of
the sunset colors is so beautiful here, so I always go there to watch the sunset. My day ends only when I see this sunset. (Kasumi Takashima/Favorite place: rooftop)
My favorite time is when I’m listening to music. I often watch music videos and music programs, and as I listen, I think “wow, they’re so cool.”When I grow up, I want to be on the other side of the screen, playing in a band that I formed that makes many other people think “wow, they’re so cool.” (Yosei Tokuyama/Dream for future: form a band and become famous)

I cannot eat pork. So, neither my mom nor I even notice the pork section at the supermarket. Even if some food looks very delicious, as soon as I find out that there is pork in it, I draw an imaginary line between me and that food. I have seen more pork dishes since coming to Japan, so my lines are increasing every day. (Hiraru Takeuchi/Favorite place: area around Etiler, Istanbul)
Since my legs are fat, there is a limit to where I think it’s acceptable to show them, in both my school uniform and my own clothes. (K.M./Dream job or future goal: pharmacist)

「光州日報」全13回連載 (週1回)
2018.9.7 –

二つの足で自由に友達と一緒にどこにでも行けるはずなのに、保護者抜きで光州の外に飛び出てみたことがない。ユースクエアというところにバスターミナルもあって、時々行ってバスを見るといろんな考えが浮かぶ。不安もあるけど光州から飛び出してみたい気持ちも大きい。(パク・セウン/将来の夢: 服に関連する私が一番したい仕事)
今私はクリスチャンなんだけど、教会に行けば悪口も言わないし行動もちゃんと正すのに、学校に来たり友達と会うと悪口も沢山言うし、行動もそこまで気にしない。だからといって、友達と一緒だと悪い子になるってわけじゃなくて、ただ単に教会(キリスト教)と学校(世界)の間に境界線があるのかもしれない。 (ポム・ユンソ/好きな所:親しい人と一緒にいるところ)

It seems like my two feet can bring me anywhere and walk freely with my friends, but frankly, I’ve never been outside of Gwangju without any guardian accompanied. There is a Bus Terminal at U Square, and I can think of several ideas when I see buses there. I’m worried, but still want to go outside of Gwangju. (Park Se Eun / Dream job: anything related to clothes and something that I want to do the most)
I’m a Christian. I act politely and I don’t swear at church, but when I go to school or hang out with friends, I swear a lot and don’t really care about my behaviors. It doesn’t mean that I become mean when I’m with friends, but I just think there is a border between the church (Christianity) and school (the world). (Beom Yoon Seo / Favorite place: anywhere with my close friends)

僕にとってものすごくつらい学校の最後の授業のチャイムが鳴ると、もっとつらい塾が僕を迎える。出ていく学生の足音とともにもっとつらい塾が終わると、塾の先生は山のような宿題をプレゼントといって渡してくれる。ため息とともに宿題が終わると、ようやく甘い眠りが私を迎える。 (ジョ・ヒョク/将来の夢:生物学者)

At school, which is quite difficult for me, after the bell of the last class rings, the academy, which is even more difficult, greets me. When the tutoring ends with the sound of footsteps of students going out, my tutor gives out tons of homework as present. After I finish doing the homework with a sigh, sleep as sweet as honey welcomes me. (Jo Hyuk / Dream job: Biologist)
I can’t poop in rooms but I can in toilets. (Jung Seung Hwa / Dream job: Cook (Chef))



[Tokyo Contemporary Art Award 2019-2021 Exhibition]
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan



14 years old & the world & borders


“Rules of the book”
This is a travelling book; it is not to be sold.
This project would like to place the little stories written by high school students in comparison with library books or works in an art museum, viewing them as a type of “common property” that allows more people to appreciate. It’s hoped that the stories can go beyond this exhibition in Hong Kong, so that they can be passed among people, from one person’s world to another person’s. This is my little hope, or maybe a little experiment. After getting this book and reading it, please be sure to pass it to another person, someone who would be interested in the book or Taking from one person’s hand, together for a temporary moment, and then passing to someone else’s hand. I hope this book can cross various borders, to be shared, passing from one person to another.this kind of game.

Book “14 years old & the world & borders”
Directed and edited by:Motoyuki Shitamichi
Book design: Shin Akiyama
Published by:Tai kwun Contemporary, Michi Laboratory
Publishing date: March 2019
協力: Rooftop Institute
Interpreter: Hiko Lee, Yuki Konnno
Translation: Hiko Lee Yin Hing, Dawang Huang, Winnie Chau, Jin Zhen, Yuki Konnno, Eirang Song
Supported by: Hong Kong Jockey Club CPS Limited



2021    「Tokyo  Contemporary  Art  Award  2019-2021受賞記念展」東京都現代美術館、東京
2021    「境界のかたち 現代美術展 in  大府」おおぶ文化交流の杜allobu、愛知
2019    「prologue」Cité  internationale  des  arts  –  Site  de Montmartre、パリ、フランス
2018    「Our  Everyday―Our  Borders」大館當代美術館、香港、中国
2018    第12回光州ビエンナーレ「Imagined  Borders」国立アジア文化殿堂(ACC)、光州、韓国
2017    「Condition Report: ESCAPE from the SEA」国立美術館/アート・プリンティング・ワークス、クアラルンプール、マレーシア
2016    岡山芸術交流2016「開発」旧後楽館天神校舎跡地、岡山
2013    あいちトリエンナーレ2013「揺れる大地 - われわれはどこに立っているのか:場所、記憶、そして復活」納谷橋 東陽倉庫テナントビル、愛知

Title: 14 years old & the world & borders
Year: 2013 –
Medium: Workshop(s), newspaper(s) Dimensions: Variable
Publications: Photo book 14 years old & the world & borders, Michi Laboratory / Tai Kwun 
Contemporary, 2019
2021    “Tokyo Contemporary Art Award 2019 – 2021 Exhibition,” Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo
2019    “prologue,” Cité internationale des arts – Site de Montmartre, Paris, France
2018    “Our Everyday ― Our Borders,” Tai Kwun, Hong Kong, China
2018    The 12th Gwangju Biennale “Imagined Borders,” Asia Cultural Center, Gwangju, South Korea
2017    “Condition Report: ESCAPE from the SEA,” National Art Gallery / Art Printing Works, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2016    Okayama Art Summit 2016 “Development,” Korakukan Tenjin School, Okayama
2013    Aichi Triennale 2013 “Awakening – Where Are We Standing? – Earth, Memory and Resurrection,” Nayabashi Toyo Logistics Building, Aichi

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