Chameleon in-between - EU・ジャパンフェスト日本委員会

Chameleon in-between

orangcosong|Photo: KATO Hajime

No one knows what will happen in the future. In such an unstable time, we (orangcosong) are changing our colors like a chameleon. It would be cool if we could say that our core is unshakeable, but we are not sure. Like a fluid organism…

In the autumn of 2021 in Japan, the restriction was relaxed. After 18 months of self isolation and some online experiments, orangcosong restarted the activities outside. We met various people in some towns in Japan. Sharing time and space without a screen used to be normal, but now it is a fresh experience. A Human exists as a material, creating gravitational strain in space, and the strain attracts someone else… “Mobility” and “Gravity” are our keywords, and we feel them more easily in the real world than the online world.

In November, we held “Hitsudankai – from now/here, silence” in Tokyo.

Long rolls of paper were placed in the venue, and the participants conversed only in writing. They were free to come and go anytime, during 5 days, 36 hours in total, we used two 50-meter rolls of paper.

In complete silence, we could hear only the sounds of the pens running. Strange times passed on the paper.

“Hitsudankai – from now/here, silence” Photo: TAKAHASHI Kenji Photo courtesy of Tokyo Arts and Space

In December, at “Good Morning, Yokohama in YPAM Fringe”, we occupied a corner of the YPAM Fringe Center and invited some people active in Yokohama as our guests. Of course we negotiated with YPAM before our event, but in our sense, it was almost like a high-jack. Even after our “official” program in the morning, we often played board-games and chatted intermittently until nightfall, involving YPAM staff, visitors, and neighbors.


These projects were “in-between”: work/project, art/game, work/play, public/private, professional/amateur, purpose/no purpose, social/antisocial, commit/omit…etc. In this “in-between” zone, solid values have melted away.


All people are currently in-between the online/offline world, but we probably won’t choose only one side. Even when we were working on projects like the above in offline locations, we felt that this might be just a temporary détente (in January 2022, the restriction was reinstated in some cities in Japan). The virus is not the only reason, natural disasters or political situations can be the reasons for restrictions.


Under such an unstable “in-between” world, it’s not easy to survive, but on the other hand, there are opportunities to dissolve something solid. For example, in Japan, as more and more people move away from urban areas, the relationship between mobility/gravity is being fluidized and reconstructed. In the long term of stay-home life, people all over the world have seen possibilities for new societies, new worlds, and new arts… We can believe; rather than a society dominated by one strong value, a society with soft various values is more gentle to humans. At least for us, it’s easier to live and breathe in such a soft society. So about our own identity, it’s better to continue to dissolve, rather than build it solidly.

“Good Morning, Yokohama in YPAM Fringe”

The name “orangcosong” is inspired by the Indonesian words “orang (person)” and “kosong (empty)” : empty people. Each project we’ve had a team with someone, but orangcosong itself is like an empty vessel.

Even though we’ve accumulated some titles and careers over the several years of the activities, as a vessel, empty is beautiful. So every time while writing our profile or CV, we feel a dilemma; it’s not empty at all…! Of course we are attached to our past projects and experiences, and often remember the people with whom we collaborated.

But we don’t want to be fixed and authorized. We want to be fluid, and no matter how much experience we have, we want to remember the fresh feelings: curiosity, fear, and joy which we felt at our first step on foreign soil.


On the other hand, by letting people know about the activities of orangcosong, we may have an opportunity to reach someone who really needs it. That’s why we are writing this essay as a message in a bottle. But, who is the “someone”?


We are not waiting for a person like “a prince on a white horse” who takes us to some faraway world. We want to meet not any princes, but partners we can trust: whom we can talk about new societies, worlds, arts, and create something together, for connecting our activities to “someone” we haven’t met yet. Please contact us if you are. Let’s start from casual online chatting. It may become a fruit one day.


After this, we are planning to make “Engeki Quest” in a few cities in Japan, Macau, Southern Africa, and Cyprus. But the situation is still unstable. No one knows what will happen in the future. We are changing our colors like a chameleon, to dissolve the boundaries, to meet “someone”.

“Hitsudankai – from now/here, silence” Photo: TAKAHASHI Kenji Photo courtesy of Tokyo Arts and Space



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