Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (MIMOCA) held a workshop on August 9 (Wednesday), August 10 (Thursday), August 12 (Saturday), and August 13 (Sunday) titled “Choose and Mix ☆ MIMOCA Tin Badges!” Over these four days, a total of 639 participants of all ages, from children to adults, took part in the workshop. This report covers the workshop, from its preparation through to its delivery.
Venue: Creative Studio
My very own MIMOCA tin badge!
In the Choose and Mix ☆ MIMOCA Tin Badges! workshop, participants look at photographs of the MIMOCA building taken from different locations, and select one photograph that they particularly like. They then create a collage by sticking materials such as colorful paper, stickers, stamps, and string, onto the photograph. Once this is done, the section of the completed collage which most resonates with the maker is then cut out and turned into a tin badge (button).
The favorite places and materials chosen by each participant are now locked into their completed tin badges. We wanted people of all ages to be able to participate in this workshop and take home a wonderful souvenir of their summer holidays, their travels, or their trip back to their family hometown.
Project Planning with Children
In preparation for the August workshops, we called for applications from children to become Support Kids who would be involved in the project from the planning stage. The Support Kids took part in a trial workshop before the actual workshop was delivered to the public, giving us valuable advice from a child's perspective and helping us to deliver a better program.
Four children from Grade 1 to Grade 5 volunteered to become Support Kids. After the MIMOCA staff members explained what was involved in the workshop and how we wanted them to help, the Support Kids were off to a start.
The Support Kids first explored MIMOCA, searching for spots that they particularly liked, which they then photographed. These photos would become bases for making collages.
The photographs were then printed out so that they could be used by participants of the August workshops. Every photograph encapsulates the appeal and attraction of MIMOCA.
(Photographs taken by the Support Kids.)
The children then returned to the Creative Studio where they went on to create the tin badges. Together they discussed aspects that MIMOCA staff had not thought of, such as what would be the best materials to stick onto the photographs, or what could be tricky for the participants. Their honest opinions helped to ensure that the workshop would be enjoyed by the next round of participants.
Here are some of the Support Kids' opinions and suggestions.
First, the process of cutting out a circle from the completed collage.
The Support Kids made suggestion such as - "Using a regular pencil for marking means you can't really see the circle, and it makes cutting tricky. And if your collage includes sticky tape, it's hard to make a mark on the tape. What about using a colored pencil?"
As a result of this suggestion, we provided colored pencils and marker pens on the first day of the workshop, making it easier for children to mark a clear circle on the collage.
Second, completing the tin badges.
Looking at the completed tin badges, the Support Kids made the following suggestion - "When the badge is pressed, the design around the edge gets caught up and you can't see that section. Wouldn't it be better to explain this to the participants before they start making their badges?"
In response to this suggestion, a simple illustrated explanation showing which sections will be visible and which will not was added to the "How to Make a Tin Badge" handout given out at the workshop.
Calling for applications to be Support Kids was a first for MIMOCA, and initially applicants were sought among the children who had participated in a workshop held in May. In future, application will be open to everyone, so that a greater number of children interested in supporting MIMOCA can take part.
Create summer memories at MIMOCA
The day of the workshop. Bookings were not required for this workshop, which was the first large-scale workshop to be held since Covid. The MIMOCA staff nervously waited, wondering how many people would turn up. However, when the Creative Studio opened at 10:00, large numbers of people turned up, as children came with family members or with a parent. They quickly filled the studio to full capacity.
The following is a description of the workshop on the day.
Each participant first chooses one photograph from among the many photographs taken of MIMOCA at different locations.
The participants then choose the collage materials to stick onto their chosen photographs. A wide range of different materials are available on the desks, including colorful paper, stickers, stamps, and string, ensuring that participants have fun making their tin badges.
After choosing materials, the participants return to their seats and begin creating their tin badges.
Decorating their chosen photographs. Participants cut paper into various shapes and stick them onto the photo, sometimes using stickers instead. Soon, their collages are reaching completion.
Once a collage is completed, participants use a cutout stencil to decide which section of the collage to feature on the tin badge.
After deciding on the section, they mark it with a circle and then cut it out with scissors.
Once the circle has been cut out, the participant takes it over to the tin badge section and gives it to a staff member who will use a press to incorporate the collage into a badge. This is the final step in creating the participant's original tin badge.
Some participants excitedly showed their tin badges to their families or to MIMOCA staff, saying "Look, look!" Others announced that they would give their badges to someone special, such as one participant who said, "I'm giving mine to my grandma!"
The feedback sheet included comments like these.
"We're a family of three, and we had a great time using our imaginations to make something unique. Even using the same photograph as the base, the result is completely different depending on where the circle is cut out. That was fun."
"My original tin badge also became a souvenir of my visit to the Museum."
People from all age groups had a great time making the tin badges over the four days, including three-generation families and groups of people in their 20s.
This was a workshop where children and adults could come together and enjoy making their tin badges. The participants chatted among themselves while making their badges, showing each other the final result. It is our hope that the experience of this workshop and similar programs will lead to MIMOCA becoming a familiar presence in the lives of the workshop participants.
Text by Misaki Oura and Satoko Shimada
Reproduction of photos from within this post is prohibited.