Last week (15 July) a 30-tonne fishing trawler was lifted from the water and into a dry dock site in central Nagoya, Japan as part of Blast Theory‘s participation in the Aichi Triennale with The Thing I’ll Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life by artist Ju Row Farr.


The boat was driven by lorry through the streets of Nagoya at night and then lifted into position by a group of volunteers. Once in place, a boy climbed onto the deck to recite ‘his story’ to the crowd watching the procession. The work explores how ordinary men and women spring into action in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and is inspired by the theme of the festival, Awakening, as well as a research trip to the tsunami-ravaged region of Sendai.


In her blog, Farr writes: “I am blown away, in the best possible sense. Not a moment in the last 48 hours has been less than full, often full of everyone’s hard work and generosity in such abundance by people I hardly know and most I don’t know at all, that it has been totally overwhelming…


“We had a pop up cafe at 4am in the park, the cicadas were dropping all around after seven years underground and seven days of life and love above, so many hard hats and boiler suits it was like an industrial-catalogue fetishists dream – and, well of course, there has been the boat.


“To see 30 tonnes swinging over head on two webbing straps suddenly seemed like a very bad idea and all the hard hats in the world will never cut that mustard. And, up on the highway, cars must have suddenly noticed a massive fishing trawler float up besides, out of the dark sky, like they were in another place, like reality had shifted, which I guess this project is about in many respects – things that we know, or think that we know, suddenly changing and people organising around the giant events that make it so – this particular giant beast being a symbol of our water surrounded islands.”
All photos courtesy of Blast Theory and Ju Row Farr


The title The Thing I’ll Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life comes from an interview with a fisherman made during a research trip to the Sendai area. Mr Nakazato’s village of Funikoshi was extensively damaged in the tsunami of 2011. Speaking about his efforts to rebuild the village and especially the fishing community he said, “This is the thing I’ll be doing for the rest of my life”.


Waiting for the Boat 1 from Blast Theory on Vimeo.


Videos by Art Lab Girl, Reiko Kondo:


The boat is in place for the duration of the Aichi Trienanale, which runs from 10 August to 27 September, and visitors are welcome to visit in person or online. Online audiences can listen to the stories, share photos of the journey and send messages of support using the hashtag: #thethingillbedoing. A video documenting the trawler’s journey will be released in August during the triennale.