Follow this link for a look at all of the book dedications we wrote, and check out our mood board to see our inspirations for the room's design. My collaborator Jo Suk wrote the following description of the project for this year's Winter Show.
This Reminded Me of You is an interactive scene where the player is a mutual friend of the two creators, Mashi and Jo. Scattered across the player’s living room are myriad books that Mashi and Jo have gifted the player over the course of years. Each book contains an inscription from either Mashi or Jo explaining why they thought to give the book to their friend. As the player pores through the covers, recurring themes emerge around gender roles, the weight of responsibility, and the joy of friendship. The aggregate effect is a quiet sense of kinship between the player and each of the creators that can reveal just as much about the hypothetical recipient as the givers.
When Jo Suk and I discussed our goals for our Cornell Box, we agreed that we wanted to be understood. We had traded ideas about what and how we could express ourselves in the room we chose as a setting, and eventually we decided on books as our medium.
Jo and I met in our Applications class in the beginning of the semester, and one of our first conversations was about Haruki Murakami's Men Without Women, which I was reading on my rides to and from school at the time. We discussed Murakami's tendency to write self-insert male protagonists paired with charming caricatures of women, which led me to recommend other authors I'd read in Japanese and felt had more nuanced depictions of gender.
To supplement my Japanese language learning after graduating college, and having lost access to the recommendations I received through my Japan studies courses, I sought out books that won the Akutagawa Prize or similar literary awards. Over time I found myself seeking out books specifically written by women and queer authors, too, which prompted thinking about my relationship with masculinity and manhood.
I came to ITP thinking I would explore more of "who I am", and I've been frustrated that I've spent most of my time so far producing projects that, while interesting in their own way, felt more like assignments. I admire how some of my classmates have taken every assignment as an opportunity to reflect on an issue or passion, and I wanted to allow myself such introspection as well. I'm happy to say that throughout this project I've been thinking about myself, and I'm excited that I could use Unity as the medium for that process.