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Anonymous Letter Library

A letter to a fictional character

Words / Jas Tse
Translation / Iris Heung

寫一封信,不留姓名,把它寄到小說的主角面前。這是「S Letter Project」,匿名郵箱計劃。是日本小說家佐々木新(ARATA SASAKI)去年推出的短篇小說《漂流》個展,而延伸出一個同步進行的活動。小說內容訴說現代社會的多樣化與複雜,人的自我很容易被忽視,與他人之間更難互相理解。一種在群體裡的困縛與失落。

Write a letter addressed to no one, then send it to the protagonist of a novel — this is the anonymous letter campaign called S Letter Project. The project evolved from the solo exhibition Arata Sasaki did last year on his novella Drifting. The novella narrates a story set against the backdrop of our diversified and complex modern day society. Being trapped in a collective, one can easily forget their true nature, whereas interpersonal relationship can also be superficial.

作家招募大家寄信到他的郵箱,不需留名地書寫任何東西。收到信後,便會以出現在短篇小說《漂流》裡的主人公身分,在Instagram帳號上回信。匿名信件也會直接在展覽裡公開,每個人都能閱讀,隨著時間又會換上新的信件,陳設也會跟著調整變換。通過這些書信往返,小說彷彿一直進行而沒有終章。

The writer invited his readers to send a letter to his mailbox anonymously. After receiving the letters, Sasaki will reply on Instagram on behalf of his protagonist in Drifting. The anonymous letters will also be exhibited for public viewing. Not only will the old letters be replaced by the new ones, the setup and decorations will also be changed from time to time.

因為不知是誰寫或是信中說的是誰,而剛好讀到的人可能會在陌生人的字裡行間找到共鳴,有些經歷會忽然重疊起來,就好像在別人身上找到自己。內容可能在書寫人的脆弱,可能是美好的又或難以啟齒的,畢竟有時候面對只會在生命中閃身而過的,那股不熟悉感才更讓人安心說話。透過角色把現實裡的人無名連繫起來,而無論是閱讀別人,或是被別人閱讀,那應該也是對內心的一種巨大療癒。這就是匿名郵箱的原意吧。

Since the anonymous letters are addressed to nobody, viewers can readily identify themselves with the writing. Seeing familiarity from these letters is like finding your own self in the life of other people. Some of the letters are about the vulnerability experienced by the writers, some others are beautiful encounters or embarrassing stories. Sometimes it is easier to open up yourself when you are with total strangers who you do not expect to meet again. Through a fictional character, Sasaki is connecting many anonymous beings in real life. To read others’ letters or to be read by others, either way can have a therapeutic effect on us. This is perhaps what Sasaki wants to achieve through his anonymous letter library.