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Cucumber Journey

1 July — 31 July 2000

Shimabuku made a two-week journey from London to Birmingham by narrowboat along the Grand Union Canal. It afforded him time to consider the slowness of canal travel and exchange ideas and knowledge with people who travelled with him sporadically along the way. Leaving London with fresh cucumbers and other vegetables, he embarked on a process of making pickles, ‘slow food’ for a slow journey. According to the various recipes used, the taste of the vegetables sharpened as the boat moved closer to its destination. The pickling thus became an analogy for the artist’s preoccupation with change through the passage of time.

Journeys are a recurrent theme for Japanese artist Shimabuku. A five minute video, played on a loop saw the artist take a live octopus on a tour of Tokyo, including a visit to the landmark Tokyo Tower and Tsukiji, the city’s famous fish market.