Sunday 14 March 2010

Part 1 - Collection

" In this time of postal cut backs, I would like to provide an alternative postal service to deliver people's message cards for free. I will collect messages to deliver at the exhibition. Visitors will be encouraged to make message cards on site. Messages could be anything and to anyone who they want to communicate. They can send a message (as I will be a messenger) to businesses/galleries/other schools as well. For example, you can send a message card to a lady who works at a flower shop even you don't know her name but know the shop's name and can describe what she looks like.This service is available in Central & East London only. Each card will be stamped an 'Unexpected Delivery'. The guaranteed delivery date will be before 25 December 2009. "

On 5 December 2009 at Portman Gallery (London) I performed "Unexpected Messenger" (part 1) as a part of The Return of the Repressed which was the last event of The Dissolving Cube Exhibition.

I set up an alternative post office and provided blank cards and writing & drawing materials to encourage visitors to create & to post their own message cards.

The below are people who took part in this project.

Saturday 13 March 2010

Part 2 - Delivery

After the exhibition, I collected 22 cards to deliver by 25 December 2009.

This map shows the places where I delivered cards.

View Unexpected Messenger - Miyuki Kasahara in a larger map

Part 2 - Delivery Day 1

On 9 December, I did the first delivery to a gallery off Broadway Market by the Regent Canal on the way to my studio. As the person who I wanted to deliver the card to wasn't there, I handed it to other staff and she signed on my signature book.

Part 2 - Delivery Day 2

On 10 December, I went around Bethnal Green E2 area, starting at the Portman Gallery.

He was a bit suspicious about the letter to a lady (his wife?) who lives there, but he was happy to sign my book.

No one answered, so I just posted it.

No one answered here...

He was so happy to receive the card!

Part 2 - Delivery Day 3

On 11 December, I went to the Centre.

This office was in Piccadilly, I had to sign at the reception to see the person. I signed "messenger" in their book.

Then I went to Selfridges!

It's because of this... to see Santa.

Of course, Santa was busy at this time of year, I couldn't meet him straight away. I had to book a train ticket- Santa Express to the North Pole to meet him. My appointment time was 5.15pm - 5.30pm. Though the staff said that I could only meet him for 5 minutes or less.

I waited in the queue. Exciting...

I got on the train. I saw many elves dancing around. When I got off the train, one of them took me a room where Santa was waiting.

Santa was surprised to receive a card. I was not allowed to take any photos in the room but I explained to Santa that it's for an art project, he said "Go-ahead".

At a gallery near Kings Cross station. The gallery was about to close, the lady wasn't happy about my late delivery as she was in a hurry, but she signed my book. The person who I wanted to deliver the card to wasn't there.

Part 2 - Delivery Day 4

On 19 December, I went back to Kings Cross again as I couldn't find this address last time because the building name was missing on the card. Unluckily, I also lost my signature book on the bus on my way there, it has all the contact details of those who made the cards. No one answered at the entrance of the estate, so I sneaked in the building when someone was going out. I was still not sure that it was the right address to deliver to but then I saw the boy who wrote the card running up the stairs to visit his dad!

This address was very hard to find... in Camden.

Then I was heading North, to Highgate N6.

In Highgate he said to me "Thank you and safe journey".

The road was frozen and slippery.

I went to Islington N1, no one answered but a dog was barking in the garden. It was before 6pm and already dark.

Part 2 - Delivery Day 5 The last day

On 20 December, a bus driver rang saying that my signature book had been found and was kept at Bow Garage E3.

At Bow Garage...

I had to sign to get my pink signature book back!

Then I delivered a card to a person who lives nearby, it was still morning.

He signed the book and offered me a cup of hot coffee:-)

After that, I went to Cyprus!

It wasn't warm Cyprus as I expected. I was heading to University East London near City Airport E16.

At UEL, I was looking for the AVA Building and eventually found it.

Obviously, it was closed. It's Sunday just before Christmas...

No one was around...

I found the security office and handed the card to a security guard. He signed the book and said he would post it to the AVA department but refused when I asked to photograph him.

I went back to Hackney E9. This couple wrote a card to each other.

No one answered here.

Here is the bike I traveled on. I went to this cafe in Dalston E8 to deliver a card.

A lady at the cafe signed my book.

It was still early afternoon so I took a bus to the South London - Nunhead SE15.
I was told it was an urban bear's habitat but in late December obviously he was hibernating. No one answered, I left the card there. I hoped he could open it before spring.

I went back to Hackney E5. This was the last card delivered. No one was there.