Participation from the 3rd of September till the 30th of September 2014

Maki Miyakai is a performance artist from Kyoto, whose work is aimed at supporting sexual minorities and HIV patients.

Plan before participating
“At the time, I was a sex worker and I was participating in an movement that wished to improve the environment for safety and health in sex workers’ labor. So even from before participating, the way of how things are done at Amsterdam’s red light district (de Wallen), was transmitted by hearsay and I was interested in that and adored it. In any case,  I wanted to talk to the community of people whom were working in it or someone close to it. Also in whatever region, work involving sex is never that far from the regional sexual norms. So I wanted to know about the sexual education and gender view in Amsterdam. Of course, each individual.

And in any region, sex work is never far from the way of regional sexual norms, so what kind of sexual education and gender view in Amsterdam, for example? I wanted to know. Of course, although it is natural for individual differences, I thought that there seems to be quite a difference between the outline of the Netherlands and Japan.

While examining this and walking around the city or using the local supermarkets, making food, talking and etc., I would think about how I would form it into a performance.”

My process during participation
“Thanks to the kindness of the staff, I could meet with more people than expected, as they taught me about meeting places. we taught plenty of people to meet more people than we expected, and I was able to have various experience as if it was connected by a pair of strings. More than progress, it was more that the visions scenery would change daily in a blink.

Before going, my general image of Amsterdam was great in regard to gender issues and sex work, however my perspective on whether this is due to the origin of this land, the role of immigration or how the people connect natural has grown.”

Red-light Performance
She gave a performance in the red-light district of Amsterdam in which she interacted with the public through certain objects and movements. Her performance was enacted with the intention of shocking people into thinking about sexuality.

Miyakai also organized meetings to hear stories from the Dutch and their opinions about sexuality and learned about the rights and situations of sex workers. It was interesting for her and us, to talk about sexual discrimination and the relation to sex education with other nationalities and the differing situations per country.

After the project participation
“My experiences in Amsterdam of:  “the sort of standpoints and values people have, how there were a lot people, whom value listening and would face people” made things simple for me. The beauty of Amsterdam’s large diversity. While of course there are problems due to the attitudes of all the people living there. Every day was very interesting, even with painful situations, as I spend my days wanting to revealing how to live in the first place.”

 “Her fragile figure combined with a strong personality and erotic theme, came at its distressing sensibility during the performance in the red light district in Amsterdam.’

– Hannie van den Bergh, artist, designer and curator of Deshima AIR

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