Trade and Transport
The Japanese – Dutch connection started in 1600 when a Dutch Vessel called De Liefde (Love) landed at Kuroshima, a small island in the present Oita Prefecture. It would prove to be the starting point of a long-lasting bond between the two cultures. In the very beginning the connection was merely a trade and transport relation. Gradually the two cultures also started to exchange immaterial goods and insights.
For a long time already, intercontinental trade and transport are no longer limited to ships. That’s why, in the context of Edo Sanpu 2020, we create an intercultural bicycle project. Both our countries are very well-known for their lively bike-culture. Both our countries are known for their lively cycling culture. Bicycles are being used for everyday commuting, shopping, leisure and sports. All these aspects come together in the bicycle messengers (or couriers) who nowadays have become a significant means of trade and transport; for the delivery of goods, parcels, documents, mail, medicine and food.
Inspired by the above history we will cycle through Japan and the Netherlands on decorated bicycles; in Japan they’re known as decochari. In the 1970’s in Japan, youngsters used their bicycle as a way to profile themselves; to create a personal image. Currently there’s a certain decocyari revival in Japan.
The Dutch sort of have their own tradition of distinguishing themselves by means of their bicycle. Not to speak of the flourishing competition between the various Dutch bicycle companies, with their large variety of folding bikes, cargo bikes, family bikes, electrical bikes and so on.
Decorated bicycles, delivery service and community art
We’ll make decocyari and provide courier services with them in the Netherlands and Japan. More in particular we will offer drawn, written and/or filmed portraits, imaging thoughts and opinions that our clients hold about themselves and the other(s), in the Netherlands and Japan; in past and present. The exchanges of views and the portraits will be documented on film, on photo and in blogs on the EdoSanpu2020 website.
Cycling routes and cycling events
Both in Japan and in the Netherlands we will ride special cycling routes and take part in cycling events, in order to draw attention for the project and get in contact with a broad variety of people.
Our delivery service will be offered in various neighbourhoods of different cities in both countries.
The portraits will be published as blogs on the EdoSanpu2020 website and eventually as a travelogue book. It goes without saying that they will also remain available for possible later exhibitions and presentations.