Eat & Meet with… Naho Iguchi - Living Sculpture, Artist, TEDxTokyo Host and Self-Conscious Explorer
How would I describe Naho?
Naho is probably the most actively self-aware person I have meet so far. If I would have to condense my impression into one punch line, I think it would be “super self-conscious”. I felt she is a very sensible and complex person. The interesting thing is, that she actively explores all these complexities she is able to find in herself in detail. It is a bit like she is taking a sub-marine into her own conscious and tries to explore the deepest possible part of it. As she realised that the interactions with the people close to her (she refers to as community) are part of this, she has started to include those as well into her exploration journey. Currently she is living in Berlin as a “living sculpture” as she calls it. She basically reached out to members of her community and asked for financial support to continue and intensify her explorations while moving from Japan to Berlin.
Place: Atelierhaus am Flutgraben
Food: Smart Deli Bento Box
What project would Naho push if she would be major of Berlin or could at least ask the mayor for a major favour?
Naho wants Berlin to keep the creative and dynamic spirit it developed over the last 25 years, despite the arising challenges like gentrification and the likes.
The Lunch (all links at the end)
Naho was a MittagTreffen recommendation I have received from Anne. She was immediately positive on the idea and invited my to her studio in Kreuzberg, just next to the location of the new White Trash and the Arena. For lunch I brought a Bento-Box from a small Japanese restaurant on the way this, which she completed with some fruits and drinks for quite a nice lunch.
Naho came to Berlin from Tokyo about a year ago to start her project to become a “Living Sculpture” which explores to live as a human animal. By human animal she means to live by following her human intuitions and desires independently of money. Even in Japan she had a quite free and independent live while working as a freelance communication process designer in Tokyo, but she wanted to go one step further now. A key component of that is her sense of community. I did not feel that she is a person who pushes out everything about herself publicly or needs a lot of external confirmation, but she cares a lot for building strong bonds to a community close to her. So the natural next step for her to realise this project, was to integrate that community even deeper into her live by reach out and asking for help financing it. So she raised the money she needed to move from Tokyo to Berlin and live here for a full year as free of constraints as possible. The basis for this support from her community was purely trust and love for what she does, nothing else.
As Naho has completed almost a year living like this, it seemed clear to me that this was a great choice for her. She is doing some amazing projects, she would not been able to realise otherwise. Like coordinating an exhibition between Japan and Germany or organising a trip for 11 delegation members from 5 different Japanese municipalities to visit Berlin and explore, from urban activists like the people from the Holzmarkt to the official meeting at the Berlin Senat or at Berlin Partners. She is able to create projects which she feels create true value, independently of what they are worth financially. Ideally some of these projects can become stable enough for her or someone else to make a living of them, but for the time being, that is not the driver for them.
Besides this practical side of her project, it also has a strong spiritual side to her. She aims to explore all the parts of herself as well as the world around her, consciously with all her senses. She actively explores the connection and harmony of everything from her body to her emotions and from her mind to her sensuality. Naho is definitely the most actively self-aware person I ever meet. This active listening into her own state has helped her to become fully in-sync with herself, which probably is one of the most valuable things we can reach as a person. This new way of living has helped her to find harmony between her body and conscious and to come clear with anything from the past that might have caused scars or regret. I am not sure this concept of a human animal would be working for everybody, but it surely works for Naho. It starts with the honest question to oneself on what would really fulfill me, if I could do anything. Definitely not the easiest question to answer, but at least Naho seems to have found a good answer for herself on this.
Note to myself:
“As constant change is a given for the world around us, the only way I can be in harmony with the world is by fully embracing change.”