A picture painted of things collected by local citizens that are thought to really represent Hamburg. The “Hamburger Illustrated Encyclo- pedia” is exhibited floating on the Elbe River.

The artwork of Aki Inomata is a collection of anthropological miniatures. She shows how to arrange within the human conditions we have to deal with. How do we fit in with our environ- ment? What is the function of our language? How do we talk to each other?
In her “Hamburg Illustrated Encyclopedia,” the artist Aki Inomata asked citizens to bring small items from their daily lives that represent what they think symbolize Hamburg’s identity to the exhibition at FRISE. She presented her visitors with a mirror of the senses to show and help them understand daily life from the perspective of an artist.
Born and raised in Tokyo AKI INOMATA is the first traveling artist of Port Journey in Ham- burg. More to come soon!

Michael Kress Director of FRISE

Yokohama and Hamburg are sister ports. I had no idea where
Hamburg was; that it was a port city in Germany’s north.
Although it is a port city, it is not on a seacoast. It is situated at the mouth of along the Elbe River at its confluence with the Alster Rivers.
It is Germany’s second largest metropolis after Berlin, and a good half of the city is abundant with water and greenery. Hamburg has a large immigrant population. Ottensen, where I had my residency, is lined with shops catering to many different nationalities. Being a bustling coastal city since ancient times, the citizens are very open-minded and surpris- ingly welcoming to foreign visitors.
For my project in Hamburg, I had people bring me something that they thought symbolized their city. A large variety of things to symbolize Hamburg were brought together for the project, which I lined up with
an illustration I made based on what each person told me about their particular item: water from the Elbe River, a mural of women working at the port, the local soccer team’s logo, franzbrötchen, egg tart, the sound of rain, tile from a now-defunct meat shop…. Each story was connected to the Elbe River. I brought water from the river and floated the illustra- tions on it.
I’m very grateful to those who cooperated with the project and I am eager to have another opportunity to stay in Hamburg again.

Aki Inomata