Ryuto's hand holding the finished prototype of A Field Guide to the Birds of the Tokyo Metro System. One of my works in the exhibition Tokyo Story at TWS Shibuya is a collaboration with a talented young artist Ryuto Miyake.
It started with my recording of the bird sounds used as alarms in the metro system, soon after I meet Ryuto who has a passion for drawing birds. The question was then how do we illustrate a field guide to these Metro birds while avoiding the mannered ‘imaginative’ drawings of people who know too much. Children drawings? How do I find a group of children? Enter Kate Gane: an Australian who is teaching English in the Kanagawa area as Warnambool's cultural ambassador. Kate and I did a series of workshops with the students playing them the alarm sounds and shown them images of Japanese and Australian birds. Ryuto’s drawings are based on drawings by first year students in classes 1-1, 1-2 and 1-3 at Hasse Junior High School, Kanagawa, and photos of birds we thought they looked like.