2009年起，Aki Inomata開始用3D Printing技術，替寄居蟹製造一個個透明的殻，作為牠們暫時的居所。居所長成了城市的模樣，當寄居蟹因為身體長大了，不得不遷到別的居所時，牠們就彷彿移居到別的國家一樣。套在身上的城市不相同，牠們看來就截然不同，然而事實上，不管在哪個「城市」中，牠們的肉身仍然如一。這系列名為Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs的作品，看在身居別國的異鄉人眼裡，感受特別深。衣著打扮，甚至生活方式都被異國感染了，但內心最重要的部份，卻紋風不動。
Inomata的作品都是跟動物相關的，她觀察動物的世界，同時觀察那世界反照出來的人類世界。例如名為Lines – Listening to the Growth Lines of Shellfish的作品，源自2011年的日本東北地震。貝殻類表面的紋理，如同樹木的年輪一樣，是其長成的痕跡。2011年3月，日本東北沿岸的生態環境突變，Inomata開始研究當地的貝殻類，並於2015年、2016年、2018年分別發表了同名作品，將當年貝殻類上的紋理，轉化為黑膠唱片的溝槽，奏出來的聲音，就是貝殻類成長的聲音，也是被人類破壞了的自然環境的申訴。人類非世界的中心，萬物相依並存，Inomata沒道明，但她的作品往往流露出這訊息。
於今年9月14日起，十和田市現代美術館替Aki Inomata舉行首個個人展覽AKI INOMATA:Significant Otherness，除了一系列為人熟知的作品外，今次的展品中，還包括她以青森縣南部的南部馬作為題材製作的新作。
Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs? is a project by Aki Inomata that started in 2009. Inomat used the 3D printing technique to create transparent shells for hermit crab so that they could have a temporary home to stay. These shells are designed in the shape of various cities, so when a crab grows bigger and needs to move into another shelter, the process is like migrating to another country. Carrying a different city on their back may give the crabs a different appearance, but no matter which “city” they are in, their bodies remain the same. This project has perhaps a stronger implication for people who migrated to another country. We can easily acquire a new fashion sense and lifestyle when living abroad, but the innermost self always remains genuinely unchanged.
Inomata’s works are always related to animals. While observing the animal world, she can also see a reflection of our human society. One example to illustrate this connection is her Lines – Listening to the Growth Lines of Shellfish series that was inspired by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. The growth lines on shells are similar to the growth rings of trees, they are traces of their life. In March 2011, the eco-system has undergone a radical change. Seeing this, Inomata began to do research on clams in the area and presented her findings in 2015, 2016 and 2018 under the title Lines – Listening to the Growth Lines of Shellfish. In the 3 exhibitions, she transformed patterns on the shell into spiral groove, so that people can listen to the life of these clams. Humans are not the centre of the world, every organism relies on each other to coexist and survive. Although Inomata did not say it very explicitly, this is a message communicated in many of her works.
Starting from 14 September 2019, the Towada Art Center will host the first Aki Inomata solo exhibition titled INOMATA:Significant Otherness. On top of her most-known works, visitors will also have a chance to see her new works inspired by the horses bred in the north of Aomori Prefecture.