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Mayu Maruyama

semester two ANIMAL

week 1

reflection of exhibited project

Last Semester, I was exploring the connection between ecological nature and the human body/mind through the project. It started with the question; how the food I eat everyday affect my mental state. I recorded 30 days of everyday meals with a food diary, and record my mood by drawing.

The media was pre-recorded video from animation video and installation. I ‘chose’ the media for the online show. I did not think about these representation forms when I started the experimentation. I was just eating as normal, recorded and drew. I realised that interdisciplinary practice is different from intermedia art. The media, the video was chosen not because it was best to represent my ‘idea’ or ‘thought’ but it was best to show my ‘practice’.

Looking at the content of the project, I explored food and eating. In my first year, I did experimentation with food with the research about Laila Gohar. Eating and food is something cultural but very natural.

▶︎ references: food and eating

Dali’s cookbook
in ictu oculi (2009) – GRETA ALFARO

a Music video: Kisetsuhatsugitsugishindeiku (2016) – amazarashi
eat art performance: Eat design (2012) – Honey and bunny

Animals eat. How human eat differently from other animals. What gastronomic habitat means to us. Human beings do not eat just for maintaining their lives but for pleasure.

About Me

2nd Year Fine Arts Student

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mimicking an animal

When I was studying in Hong Kong, I used to perform chinese lion dance. A pair of dancers mimic a lion’s movements in the costume. The lion is based on a mythical monster. It performed to bring good luck and fortune. The dance involves elements of martial arts and gymnastic formation. This dance inspired me to focus on movement of feet.

I never focused on or think about feet as much I do for hands. While hands often represent cultural activities of human, feet represent athletic activities; walking, running, dancing, and gymnastics. Hands symbolise creation, soul, sensitivity, and consciousness. Feet show the strength and ability of the life.

gods, beasts, and women


reflections on last semester: I realised that just trying ideas will lead me somewhere, so I have a wide repertoire of possibilities.

reflections on my last project: The animation was too much work for me especially post production part. On the other hand, I enjoyed installation, how it gives a whole different experience in the project room. I experienced using settings/recording equipment.

expectations on myself this semester: I love trying out many ideas, but i’d like to be in more coherent and connected. repetition -> pattern -> project and practice.

investigation this semester so far: It was surprising that the film looks intimate. ‘It is humorous but uncanny, and very intimate and so sensitive.’ It is relate to animal: the beasts don’t have hands that only have feet. They have powerful physical ability.

Activities that requires strong feet: exercising, running, or dancing, they are a little bit more ‘animalistic’. It brought me to think about the relationship between the soul and the body.

A dancer can go beyond the soul. When a dancer dances they don’t think, they just follow what their body remembers. Sometimes the soul can’t follow the movement of the body. The body is free from the soul.

I think human beings are attracted to animalistic movements. However, Miranda suggested that sometimes it’s really uncomfortable for people to see humans behaving as animals because they know it’s far from our usual behaviour. Humans consider animals to be beneath humans, not equal or above.

next step?: living through the consciousness of my feet to understand things more deeply from the perspective of my feet. Take consciousness to my feet. As an example of disconnected perspective: An octopus has 8 brains one in each limb. They have a perception and consciousness of, in and from their different limbs.

week 2


drawing with feet

Putting a paper on the floor and using paint and a thick charcoal stick, I drew with my feet. Through this experimentation, I was exploring the figure prints of my feet, the consciousness of them, the limit of their movement. 

When I was trying to make different kinds of marks with my feet, I felt like I’m dancing. It reminds me of figure skating. The skating blade draw lines on the surface of the ice rink in each steps, turns, spins, moves…  

Dance ≒ action/movement of the body -(power/gravity)-> feet -> surface => drawing

  • mark
  • figure
  • dance
  • concentration
  • consciousness
  • extension
feet drawing (charcoal)

Our consciousness goes beyond our body. It is extensive.

I can ‘feel’ the surface where the paper and the charcoal stick are touching. What is our ‘consciousness’? Is it related to our soul or spirit? How long it can be extended (How far it can go beyond our body)? 

colour version

visual distinction between human and animal











artist research

Anthropometries (1960), Yves Klein

“status moments of the flesh”,“Architectural decoration or integration process and products resulting from the said process”

“That was very interesting for me, that the body and the soul is one in a print.” […] “the most concentrated expression of vital energy imaginable,” (Rotraut) © Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2019

‘Anthropometry, the real—and not symbolic—presence of the model in the flesh. This is her body. Can we doubt it? One need only approach one of her prints and, “nature and spirit,” it awakens. Its origin takes shape once again, for the life lying there is permanent. We are touched by this flesh. (…)’ (Excerpt from the book “Incandescence” by Frédéric Prot, 5 continents editions, Milan, Italy, 2012)

relate to my project: human body, paint, painting after the performance, female, marks, imprints, results, energy, soul, spirit, catch, shape

week 3

workshop 1


I went to the beach just 5 minutes away from where I live in Aber. I was sitting on the sand watching the sea, people walking, and dogs running and playing. I observed and sketched the movement of them.

I tried playing with the sand first. I made marks, dug a hole, felt each piece of sand and small stones. My feet started to hurt at this point by wet sand and stones. I was a bit jealous of dogs for their strength. They were truly enjoying playing on the beach. I was suffering from cold air and pain on my feet. Even if it’s during the summer, I will be suffered from the hotness of the sand…

I put my foot into the wave. I felt the movement of the sea. The energy of them. I was scared of them or getting wet.

In the end, I decided to go back to my place with my barefoot. Even just walking was tough action at this point. Each step is a pain. My foot was catching every sharp edge of every sand. Walking on the asphalt road was easier than on the beach. I loved walking on the wet soft grass. It covered the gaps in my fingers.

week 4

workshop 2

imagined animal

Prionailurus bengalensis yaeyamensis

My imagined animal is based on real endangered subspieces by Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis (Iriomote Cat). I imagined how Iriomote cat can evolute to survive with the climate change (water shortage) and threats of invasive species.



In the beginning of the workshop we listened the soundtrack ‘Glastonbury Ocean Soundscape’ by Chris Watson. I was listening it putting my hand in the water. The felt the vibration of the water traveled by the sound.

animal and classic music

my playlist “animal”:

These are beautiful playlists on IDAGIO:

“Wild Things”

“Bird Songs”


I had been kicking yarn while walking and moving around in the house. The action remains me of cats playing with yarn. Kicking them as walking. it became like yarn is guiding my way; the action of my feet came before the move of my whole body.

The wool strings show the memory of my move. When my housemate saw the condition of the house, she said, “It’s strange that I can feel you, your presence without seeing you there.” It is a kind of marking to identify its own territory as some animals do.

artist research

Thinker (2016), Maya Dunietz, Centre Pompidou

‘On the first floor, the viewer immerses in a cloud made of thousands of headphones. A look from above unveils the cloud origin, on an upper-level balcony. The thicket floods the space with humming white particles. The sounds coming out of the headphones, as well as the sounds emerging from the balcony of the gallery are an invitation to investigate the space, exposing a unique acoustic phenomena that comes to life as the audience moves around the room. while this Thicket is singing its song other sounds are heard in the space, sounds that we can hear but not yet see, low mumbles and groans and birds echoing from the second floor.’

‘Nature is a temple in which living columns sometimes emit confused words. Man approaches it through forests of symbols, which observe him with familiar glances,’ (Baudelaire, ‘Correspondences’, 1857)

relate to my project: tingled, string, white, installation, space,

relate to group proposed project: sound, multiple, installing, digital devices, multiple, listing, ingestion, medium, harmony, space, 


What next:

  • Practice on the outside (maybe start on the beach or the park?)
  • Long string drawing on the beach
  • Night time string feet drawing
  • (Night time charcoal feet street drawing)
  • Lay down on the street and feet drawing/moving only feet
  • 20 x 30 second film on just feet (something like week1)
  • Moving the camera around feet took by an assistant
  • Looking closer to the skin
  • looking closer to the skin


John Copland

Self-Portrait (Hands Spread on Knees) 1985
Self-Portrait (Back with Arms Above)  1984

Douglas Gordon

Play Dead (2003)

Francis Alys

Reel – Unreel (2011)

The Green Line (2004)

The Leak (2002)

Sometimes Making nothing leads to Something (1997)

Fairly Tales (1992)

Miranda Whall

0.0018926244284047371% (2016)

proposal for group project

week 5

workshop 3

  • Map
  • Line
  • Drawing
  • Identity
  • Emotion
  • Walking
  • Performance
  • Cell division
  • Changing
  • Assembling
  • Cell biology
  • Cellular structure
  • Nucleus
  • Specimen/Sample

the surface

I tried to explore the abstraction of human figure and the skin. I looked closer to my feet, took photographs of them. Some of them still look like feet, but some looks like other part of the body, or something completely different.

Week 6

territorial (02)

I did string drawing on the beach at night instead of in the house. As soon as I took off my shoes, I felt the coldness of the sand. The wet sand caught my feet. All the weight and heaviness. pulled me into the sand. The strings tied me down there. But I ran and resist them. The strings made strange patterns on the sand, and the drawings looks like the web. I can see some geometric patterns in them.

where they always touch

I laid down on the sand, and dance or move ONLY my legs my upper body touching on the land still. In the first and third videos, my face is facing down. In the second one, my face is facing down.

from anima to terra

  • I came too far away from you
  • I rejected touching you when you always do
  • I kicked you to jump higher
  • I built a tower to escape from you 
  • I dreamed of flying, cutting our connections completely
  • but my body wishes fallen into you
  • blended with, melted into, soaking in you,
  • wishes dreaming the same dream,
  • waiting for flowers fallen, 
  • creating beautiful trees, 
  • yet my soul, it may leave my body
  • it will not stay still
  • traveling and passing through with air
  • but someday it will touch the surface of you
  • will be waiting for it

week 7

workshop 4


I put myself in the cupboard and moved a camera around my feet to see how they look different from usual perspective. In these short videos, my feet look like more of a object rather than the live not only because they are not moving. It can be the ‘gaze’, the movement of camera. We know that we are not able to see something from this angle with this speed by our own eyes.

Some more exploration of feet like I did in week 1. I tried in shorter durations, in 10 seconds to 30 seconds.

    • I
    • DON’t
    • MERELY
    • THE
    • ANIMAL
    • WHAT
    • I
    • WANT
    • AN
    • ANIMAL
    • SHOWS
    • TO
    • A
    • CHILD,
    • NOT
    • THE
    • ONES
    • IT
    • SHOWS
    • TO
    • AN
    • ADULT,
    • TAKE
    • FOR
    • HOW
    • IT
    • MOVES
    • WHEN
    • WITH
    • A
    • CHILD
    • IS
    • HOW
    • IT
    • MOVES
    • WHEN
    • WITH
    • GROWN-UP
    • LIKE
    • US.
      • Hijikata Tatsumi, In Conversation with Shibusawa Tatsuhiko, 1968
  • bone
  • flesh
  • spirit,
  • stone
  • water
  • air,
  • cold
  • wet
  • soft,


  • immobility of bone – is like a stone <-> flesh and blood – is constantly moving
  • Sometimes I have an urge to move, to do something physical – This might come from inner movement of my body, or from our soul, anima
  • The perspective film – in the cupboard with a selfie stick – a new abstract perspective – gain something but loose usual points of view
  • when I lay down on the ground facing down, it’s harder to move my legs. -> explore the different range of movements
  • What are you trying to do in the first 3 laying down images? 
  • Body contact with the sand – a different and new experience of the body contacting the earth
  • Transporting my consciousness from your feet to other parts of the body
  • Exploring how my body wants to move on the beach at night
  • Following the sound of the waves and wind when moving legs
  • When you got home and looked at the footage what was the gap between the experience and the representation?
  • I didn’t expect anything and so the film footage was new – it was like installing a new image to my mind
  • You are not a dancer and so you will make shapes with your body that you do not recognize
  • Child and adult – pure new experience
  • Somatic – the bodies experience instead of the mind’s experience
  • What will you take forward now?
  • The legs on the beach are the strongest – why?
  • Because its new for you – the experience is the strongest, the body memory is leading, so you are less in control, so you feel the body is making the work, this is exciting you the most because you feel restricted in life, this feels the most cathartic Questioning what has happened to your body and your mind?

week 8

workshop 5

The workshop led by Anna was beautiful. We started by thinking back on our designed animals and had a meditating session with the soundtrack which really helped us to relax. 

We went for walk after the meditation. My animal didn’t like the brightness of the outside first but decided to go hunting anyway. She went to the harbour to catch some fishes, but she decided not to swim because the water in Aberystwyth was too cold for her who grew up on the tropical island. She walked down to the beach and found some birds there. After playing with waves and birds, she got her breakfast and decided to go back to her nest.

After sharing drawing from the walk, we moved to the creative response to the collaborative drawing and characteristics. I decided to do drawing and dancing. I first wrote a score for dancing before stared to move. However, I did not want to record my dance. I really liked the idea of drawing out our walk, our animals, as just line drawing. The dance is only shown by the drawing made by the movement of my feet. I feel like it’s connected to the emptiness of the vile. The score also reminds me of the list we wrote to describe our designed animals.

“Festival of Ideas: Laura Jean McKay and Esther Woolfson”.