© Chim↑Pom, courtesy: MUJIN-TO Production

SUPER RAT (Showcase)

Material/ Technique3 videos, mixed media
Size/ Durationdemensions variable(3 videos: 2 min. 22 sec., 2 min. 28 sec., 3 min.)
Copyright Notice© Chim↑Pom
courtesy: MUJIN-TO Production
Year of acquisition/ donation2013
DescriptionEllie, USHIRO Ryuta, HAYASHI Yasutaka, MIZUNO Toshinori, OKADA Masataka, and INAOKA Motomu

Formed in 2005. Chim↑Pom has garnered attention from the start for the group’s creative practice that exposes, through an ultra-individualistic pursuit, problems facing the world and dark spots by means of ultra-direct interventions in which the members participate and document in photographs and video. In 2008, Chim↑Pom caused public uproar by skywriting ‘pika,’ denoting the flash of an atomic explosion, above the Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima. Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, they have used public acts and videos to depict those living through the aftermath of the nuclear threat, including the piece "LEVEL 7 feat. ‘Tomorrow’s Myth,’" where they added a section depicting images of the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor to the famous Taro OKAMOTO mural at Shibuya station, and the video "Kiai 100", featuring cheerleading shouts with youn people from the disaster-stricken area.

In the “SUPER RAT” works, which could be described as the nucleus of Chim↑Pom’s art, the members film themselves catching rats living in downtown Tokyo using insect-catching nets, and display the resulting film along with related artifacts. For "SUPER RAT" 2006, based in Shibuya’s Center-Gai, Chim↑Pom captured some of the ‘super rats’ immune to poison as a result of the continual attempts to exterminate them. Perceiving a link between themselves and the rats, both being survivors of life in the city, they presented the resulting work as a form of group self-portrait. "SUPER RAT (Showcase)", was made in Shinjuku after the nuclear incident of 2011, which forms the motif of the work. It is composed of three videos, two depicting the capture of the rats in 2006 and in 2011 respectively, and one presenting an observation of the rats’ habitat. The super rat represents a sudden mutation, a result of evolution. In the face of perpetual threats to its environment and way of life, it displays impressive vitality, continually evolving and remaining determined to survive. These characteristics seem appropriate for a portrayal of humans of the future.