50 Questions

A remote residency between London and Sapporo for Tenjinyama

February 3rd – March 13th, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Tuesday-Sunday)
1-80, 2-17 Hiragishi, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, 062-0932

Born in 1972?
We want to hear from you!

British artist Joshua Sofaer will turn 50 on 1st August 2022. As part of his remote residency with Tenjinyama in 2021 he wanted to interact with other people born in 1972. Does the common birth year, and the immanent moment of turning half a century, count for anything? What are the commonalities and differences for people turning 50?

Answering a series of 50 questions, people who responded to Tenjinyama’s open call for ‘1972s’ reflect on 50 years of life. They are recorded on a Zoom call from their own homes, reaching across closed borders.

Respondents are paired up randomly and synchronised in a video projection. You can witness different responses to the same questions simultaneously.

50 Questions literally puts the artist and participants in (each other’s) residence, taking the necessary distance enforced by global pandemic travel restrictions as an opportunity for unexpected personal interaction. We spend so much more time at home now, than we ever did before. This is a possibility to build cultural exchange and make connections.

‘50 years old’ is a milestone but also just the midway point in a life, certainly in an adult life. The life expectancy of someone born in the UK in 1972 is 85 for men and 88 for women, giving an average life expectancy of 86.5 years [Office for National Statistics]. A person who turns 50 in 2022 will therefore have an average of 36.5 more years to live. If one considers that a person forms their sense of self during adolescence, say at 13.5 years old, then 50 marks exactly the halfway point between the establishment of that sense of self, and death. Becoming 50 is a turning point, a point of reflection, of looking back and looking forward, simultaneously.

50 Questions Respondents: Yukari Kawasaki, Takashi Nakajima, Satomi Hirono, Makiko Mito, Yuki Kitazumi, Chikage Yasaka, Fumihiko Hoshino.
Curator: Mizuki Endo
Director of Tenjinyama: Mami Odai
Technician: Masayuki Miyaji