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The Artist in Residency in Hambidge

July 02, 2019

I have been selected as a fellow of Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Science. Created 3D pen pieces. 

The artist in residence in Okayama in 2019

June 01, 2019

I am pleased that I have received grants from the Department of Culture of Okayama prefecture and Wesco foundation for directing the artist in residency in Tamashima, Okayama in Japan, supported by Yumi Kobo gallery. We invited Gail Busch and Louis Katz into this residency which included pottery studios' visit, the living national treasure Jun Isesaki, Maki Takeuchi, Setsuo Watanabe, and the group exhibition collaborating with Okayama Prefectural University in Yumi Kobo.  

progress of the public art project at Arkansas Tech University

April 01, 2019

Statement

                China, Japan, and Korea have complex relationships, with changing sovereignties, and colonial and territorial issues throughout the past 3000 years, yet, there are common customs and similar cultures. Watching a movie about World War II with my Korean roommate made me, Japanese, aware of a vast separation between our historical perspectives despite striking cultural similarities. A series of sculptures fosters a dialogue about the complicated and contradictory desires to unify and divide these cultural perspectives and characteristics.

                Chinese architecture influenced Japanese and Korean architecture that reflects the aesthetics of Chinese philosophy. Chinese roofs with a sweeping curvature that rises at the corners of the roof. Corbels that support the roofs are decollated. The form is regards as the expression of the aesthetics of Shenxian thought: the beauty figure of birds that a bird ascends as its feather. The aesthetics was imported to Korean and Japanese and influenced these countries’ aesthetic of architecture.

                By modeling the corbels of roofs from these countries, I will be able to repeat, combine, and alter the corbel shapes. Adding interlocking sections, the pieces can be stacked and interchanged further segregating or unifying my unique corbel shapes. I use these segmented molds and jigs to make new corbeled forms that not only unify all three countries but also keep casts separate and interlocking. My project will explore the commonalities and divisional perspectives among the three countries to challenge cultural ambivalence.

              

progress of the public art project at Arkansas Tech University

April 01, 2019

Some of my babies are ready to dry!!!! 

progress of the public art project at Arkansas Tech University

February 27, 2019

I’m making a lot of chocolate cake out of clay!

progress of the public art project at Arkansas Tech University

January 01, 2020

The first artist in residency at Arkansas Tech University

January 07, 2019

I started a new Journey at Arkansas Tech University as the first artist in residency there. I am making a public art and teach 3D Design class!

Promotion Video for the thesis exhibition Sublimation

December 07, 2018

My friend Carlos made a great promotion video for my thesis exhibition Sublimation. Thank you Carlos!

Sublimation_Opening reception

December 07, 2018

My thesis exhibition is held on the 7th of December 2018 at K Space Contemporary from 5 to 9pm. 

Present my paper at the 2018 SECAC conference at Birmingham AL

October 18, 2018

Manami Ishimura will present her paper Stillness and Dynamism at the 2018 SECAC conference at Birmingham AL on October 18th. 

Selected by Rachel Klipa, the chair of session East, West, South: Histories, Identities, and Art Practices. The session features Miguel Angel Gaete University of York, Judith Knippschild Heidelberg Graduate School for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Lynne Larsen, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Myda Iamiceli, University of West Georgia.

Date: October 18th, Thursday, 3:15-5:00pm (Session IV)

The 2018 SECAC Conference Oct. 17-20 

 

more information below:

https://cdn.filestackcontent.com/BoA8K1NiRzWTh4aeLOjI?SECAC2018_Prelimary_Program_9-13.pdf

a new coming exhibition at Knoxvelle, Tennessee

October 05, 2018

​My sculptures and drawing have been selected to for inclusion in Members Juried Exhibition in MSA conference at Knoxvelle's Arts & Culture Alliance, Knoxvelle, Tennessee.  This exhibition juried by the artist Elizabeth Turk, primarily known for marble sculpture. In 2010, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and the Annalee & Barnett Newman Foundation award. Today, she splits time between Santa Ana, CA and NYC. This exhibition is a part of MSA conference 2018 and will be on display October 5-29, 2018.

A new coming exhibition

September 07, 2018

My sculptural ceramics Origami Cranes 2017 was selected to for inclusion in Vitreous at the Clay Center of New Orleans, Louisiana.  This exhibition juried by ceramic artist Jennifer McCurdy, and features ceramic work celebrates the timeless beauty and creative potential of porcelain clay. This exhibition will be on display September 7-29, 2018.

A consideration along with Art Power by Bris Broys

June 28, 2018

Boris Groys (b.1947) is  an art critic, media theorist, and philosopher. He was born in East Berlin and grew up in Russia (as the Soviet Union). He studied mathematical logic at the University of Leningrad, and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Münster, Germany. He is well-acquainted with the art of the Soviet Union and published the essay Moscow Romantic Conceptualism in 1979 in the art magazine A-YA. His study concentrates on socialism and post-modernism. The feature of his analysis about them is not affirmative or negative, neither superiority nor inferiority. Rather He stresses the paradox of post-modernism (comtemporary art) quoting Alexandre Kojève (1902-1968)  "the end of history" (he leads the term to the end of art history). In short, Kojève indicated the end of the ideological controversy or social scientific controversy about the superior politics. Rather it is stuck in the contradiction between desires of the equality and the superiority, that happens in the art scene. 

In this point, Groys indicates, "Modern art is a product of the Enlightment, and of enlightened atheism and humanism": the paradox- object that embodies simultaneously thesis and antithesis in the balance of power. The art along with the dynamic and revolutionary balance of power takes the  form of  political propaganda. Groys continued that the Western art functions in the mode of ideological propaganda. they try to generate a balance of power among contradictionary art trends, aesthetic attitudes , and strategies of representation to give an idealized image of this balance at international biennials, triennials, and so on. Further, the power of an ideology is the power of a vision. Although Hegel (1770-1831) indicated the time of Concept caused the victory of the iconoclastic Enlightenment over Christian iconophilia, "The desire to get rid of any image can be realized only through a new image: the image of a critique of the image." That is the modern art included contemporary art that produces the paradox object.

The images of art works depend on the concept and then, become the paradox object. For instance, the series of Consideration on The Blind  by Sophie Calle juxtapose the pictures of blind people and the image that the people imagine a beauty and the messages. It is not to show the definition of their beauties; that is a one of process that viewers experience. It is to question "vision" in the visual art. Further, the question opens viewer to think about more than the thing or perceive. That process can explain Groys's thought that contemporary art is radically pluralistic. It is where every thesis is supposed to be confronted with its antithesis. On this point, the hair ash in glasses of the project are the replacement of the vision of people that apt to be a cause of segregation and it associate with the shadow of the stairs in Hiroshima. The project is not to enlighten about the Hiroshima atom bomb. It is to question the current segregational issue but not to censure. It is open-ended to viewers to think when they perceive the beauty of ash at the same time to associate the tragedy. The ash associate a death, but at the same time the whole pieces shows their unification. Anonymous and its beauty or individual and  its beauty evoke the paradox. 

 

A consideration along with the book "Education for Socially Engaged Art" by Pablo Helguera

June 26, 2018

I am analyzing the new project out of people's hair and memories/ thousands origami project along with the book "Education for Socially Engaged Art" by Pablo Helguera.

The book introduces the definition of socially engaged arts: social interaction that proclaims itself as art and proceeds conceptually to actual practices as a central element. The book quotes Jürgen Habermas(b.1929)'s The Theory of Communicative Action (1981) that the kind of social action unifies communication and understanding between individuals that can have a lasting effect on the spheres of politics and culture as a true emancipatory force.

Also Helguera stresses the socially engaged art is composed a simple gestures and actions that may be perceived as symbolic although it is not symbolic practice but actual one. In this point, I would consider the thousands origami project is not symbolic although the crane origami itself symbolic object. The aim of the project is the experiment of creating the symbolic object and breaking it. This can be regarded as a directed participation; it is a kind of means of participations in multi-layered participatory structures: normal participation, creative participation, and collaborative participation. The directed participation is "the visitor completes a simple task to contribute to the creation of the work" such as Yoko Ono's Wish Tree(1996). 

Helguera indicated socially engaged art is necessary to spend time and effort. For instance, The Quiet in the Land curating by France Morin is an long-term collaborative project between artists and communities to demonstrate how an artist’s gift to open up new ways of seeing, and to inspire positive change might contribute to the process of reconsidering the potential of contemporary art as a socially grounded practice.

On this point, the people's hair and memories project could be considered as a kind of socially engaged art (I could say socially engaged object). This project launched in 2017 that the birth of Donald Trump president. The issue makes me aware of that the societal issue in USA is not as simple as the thing news consider about it as like racism or people think throughout living in Texas. The issue is intermingled with races, cultures, nationalities, etc although mass media is apt to simplify it with the power of image as iconophilia. (I will talk about its detail along with the book Art Power by Boris Groys.) The hair and memories project resists any images or icons of people and emancipates themselves as themselves along with engaging the people in USA.

The important difference between social work and socially egageingg art is that SEA are not just offering a service to a community but it is proposing our action as a symbolic statement in the context of our cultural history and opens a new perspective. 

Helguera introduces the term "Transpedagogy" as one of important element for socially engaged arts that do not focus on the interpretation of art or teaching art-making skills but generate "the creative performativity of the act of education, the fact that the collective construction of an art milieu with artwork and ideas, and the fact that knowledge of art does not end in knowing the artwork but is a tool for understanding the world." I would like to stress the aim of the hair and memories project is to perceive the world with noncommittal sense as Helguera mentioned.

Therefore, these project can be considered as socially engaged art at some points although these are object based arts.   

Upcoming Exhibition: “Vitreous” at the Clay Center of New Orleans

September 07, 2018

One of the origami cranes ceramic works has been selected for “Vitreous” at the Clay Center of New Orleans from September 7-29.

Upcoming Exhibition: 55th Annual Juried Exhibition at Masur museum of Art

July 12, 2018

A glue and wood work and A work using a 3D pen have been selected for 55th Annual Juried Exhibition at Masur museum of Art  from July 12 – October 13. to the opening reception on Thursday, July 12, 5:30-7:30 pm. Juror Joel Parsons will be giving a gallery talk beginning at 6 pm.

2018 CAMEO Emerging Artist Show

June 16, 2018

One of origami cranes works has been exhibited in 2018 CAMEO Emerging Artist Show in the Bayou Building Art Gallery at the University of Houston Clear Lake until August 2nd. 

The progress for a new work

January 01, 2020

New photos of my pieces out of a 3D pen

June 06, 2018

New photos of my pieces using a 3D pen are uploaded! The photos are taken by Jennifer Garza-Cuen. Thank you very much Jennifer!

artist statement

May 01, 2018

My experience living in other countries has made me aware of the liminal states between: myself and other entities, English and Japanese languages, consciousness and body. Especially when I lived in a temple in Lamphum, Thailand to practice meditation, my conscious went away from my physical element. In that moment, only breathing connected my body and consciousness.

My works represent the existence between inanimate elements and living organisms; to me, this divide is obscure. For example, a seed is not regarded as life, yet it contains potential life. Once it sprouts, at some point the seed transitions into a living organism. As the process of living becomes visualized, we consider that it starts to be a life, yet this boundary is unclear. The division between categories of non-life and life appears through the dynamic energy transfer, like the sprouting of a plant. This dynamism is the essence of existence.

To focus on this dynamism, I use artificial, inanimate materials that transition between liquid and solid. The moment of a plastic’s turning from liquid to solid embodies the dynamic boundary between emptiness and substance. The repetitive movements of my hands as I draw with this plastic generate a liminal state similar to the practice of meditation.

A Thousand Origami Cranes evokes a release from misery though acceptance of the laws of nature and connotes natural dynamism through its presentation in the ritual. The ritual is phenomena to appreciate the ephemeral atmosphere of the natural dynamism.

In response to and in reflection of this ritual, my art work emphasizes purification through fire by covering origami with porcelain slip and lets viewers replace ceramic origami by a paper origami. This participation inserts the viewers into the ritual. The viewers become part of the circulation.  

The works in my studio practice represent efforts to respect and appreciate the essence of existence along with the dynamism.

hanging origami cranes

April 30, 2018

38"Hx 16"Wx 8"D

soda killn

April 22, 2018

etching

April 23, 2018

Bisque origami cranes

April 16, 2018

cast the mold out of a plastic using a 3D pen

April 16, 2018

A new work of 3D pen's progress

April 12, 2018

New work is coming

Focus on Artist #7, Andy Goldsworthy

March 28, 2018

Andy Goldsworthy is a British contemporary artist whose works engaging with nature appreciate the aesthetics of nature beauty along with the experience dealing with natural materials. He generates environmental installations out of nature materials without industrial tools. The limitation of tools and materials complements his art works as impressive rather than expressive. Especially, the installation works collecting colorful leaves are made of only leaves and set on the site, so that could be said still nature. To me, this is not anthropocentric but nature as if a bird makes a nest. He re-installs there materials along with his impression from the environment. The performance reminds me a Japanese poem, Haiku, which consists 5 7 5 letters (each section is about 1-3 words). The limitation of letters in poem prevents poets from creating perfect expression. However, It allows their poem to be sure impression what poets saw and were moved. Furthermore, both his works and Japanese poems capture the ephemeral moment such as season or passing time as its being in their pieces. This is a common aesthetic of Goldsworthy, a Japanese poem, and my works. The limitation of my works using hot glue or plastic materials that only uses one material without any finished images and molds allows my works to be a pure impression from my experiences. 

Focus on Artist #6, Hans Haacke

March 28, 2018

Hans Haacke is a German conceptual artist. His art works in 1960s are known as Twenty-First-Century eco art inspired by the interaction between dynamism and life, and the natural dynamism like wind and water. After that, he started to make more political art. Condensation Cube, 1963-65, is a clear acrylic box with a little water so that the interior condition of the box is changed along with its sounding despite the interior and exterior do not directly interact each other. The work demonstrates the dynamic conditions of ecosystems by way of not only natural effects but controlling technologies such as air conditioners. He visualized the current circumstance, furthermore, challenges what artists respond to the present situation that we are as natural state with the assistance of its environment. This provides the awareness to viewers. However, his stance on his works are always neutral perspective. All his works do not mention his subjective perspective but barely show what is the issue in it even politic work such as Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A Real Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971. His works shows the reality in the specific space that people can not dismiss it. The absent of artist's subjectivity can be seen in my work using people's hair ash in glass with their memories. The pattern of the hair ash are naturally created by firing. The work of hair ash shows the beauty of the substance such as Condensation Cube.

3D pen's progress

March 26, 2018

New work is coming

New drawings

March 26, 2018

3D pen's progress

March 19, 2018

shadow testing

A new drawing

March 04, 2018

Progress of a 3D pen work

March 04, 2018

Progress of a 3D pen works

February 26, 2018

New Forms

Focus on Artist #5, Ai Weiwei

February 15, 2018

Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) is a Chinese conceptual artist who has lived in the East Village, New York for the period of its time of the rise and fall: the early appropriation art, Neo-Expressionism, and commodity art. He integrated these new styles of New York into his national identity. For example, Neolithic Culture Pot with Coca-Cola Logo, 1991, is a Chinese traditional pot labeled with the logo of Coca-Cola, which is regarded as a commodity symbol in the United States. The material of the Neolithic pot seems to reflect the tragedy of China: the proud traditional culture for five thousand years became anachronistic in the contemporary technological society. The label of Coca-Cola is a blasphemous to Chinese pride, but it needs to be accept for China to Westernize. The nation which was thought of as the center of prosperous countries, is now trying to catch up with the other developed countries with throwing their proud culture. The masochistic expression can be seen in Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds), 2010, which is also the symbolic metaphor of the contemporary China. The space is full of the ceramics of sunflower seeds made by hand, one by one, and viewers are able to walk on the seeds. The scale and the porcelain sculpture of elaborate quality are symbolized by the Chinese national power as prospering in marked contrast to the negative image of "Made in China." However, Chinese cultivated traditional skills are imprinted upon the surface. The viewers are involved in the relationship between Western civilization countries and the struggling countries. The installation reflects Weiwei’s ambivalent thought for his nation, China. Conflicting Capitalism and Chinese Communism seems to be thus far difficult to establish without abolishing their belief and culture. China is caught in the dilemma and the Chinese contemporary artists reflect this emotion and express it via national identical materials.

 

Focus on Artist #4, Marina Abramovic

February 10, 2018

“Marina Abramovic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1946. A pioneer of performance as a visual art form, Abranovic has used her body as both subject and medium of her performances to test her physical, mental, and emotional limits-often pushing beyond them and even risking her life – in a quest for heightened consciousness, transcendence, and self-transformation.” (“About Marina Abramovic”)

            In art21, she told people her history, “My parents really believe in the communism, and they believe in sacrifice for the cause … My grandmother, who was a completely religious fanatic, having, you know, grandfather who was a saint of the orthodox church. So they brought her up strict, and their environment brought her up as artist. in such a environment, she blame why communist collide with painting big trucks as communist being smashed by little innocent children trucks.” Her first exhibition was when she was twelve years old. And in her 20s, she expended her art field, and shifted to a performance art because her imagining vision was too vast to express using only drawing. She sought the way of expression more violent and tough. In art21 video, she said, "An artist relation to solitude. …An artist should look deep inside themselves for inspiration. The deeper they look inside themselves, the more universal they become. The artist is universe."(History)

            “An artist must make time for the long period of solitude,” said Marina Abramovic (“History”). She demonstrates a physical endurance and the extreme willpower in her art. She tried to express her message along with her physical entity. Her message in her art also expresses her dilemma between her dear family and her antipathy to their attitude. Her parent was communist and her grandfather was a saint of orthodox church. The relationship was full contradiction for her.  Her art grew up in such an environment and progressed to vast issue as her seeking her mind deeply. Her conduct deepened her philosophy, and this quest was to see universe. She can lose a sort of reality which is any stereotype, and the world which she views without the real become her utopia. In addition, she tried to remake her universal world in this real world. Her art work is fusion of the height of individuality and universe, and a kind of meditation for expressing her art or utopia.

Her episode recall me the talk of Jill Bolte, a neuroatomist, in Ted Talk. She had a stroke and an unique experience at the moment. After stroke, she lost the perception which is to be a single solid individual separate from the energy flow around her as her left hemisphere could not be working. Only her right hemisphere, which helps to learn kinesthetically, was working. What happened to her is that she could feel five sense in aware state but not understand anything even the boundary in-between herself and its sounding. And she continued, “I felt enormous and expansive. I felt at one with all the energy that was, and it was beautiful there. …I felt euphoria. …Nirvana. I found nirvana” (“How it feels to have a stroke”). I believe the liminal moment before identifying anything is what Abramovic express or let people experience. The universe can not neither tell in words nor grasp it in one's conscious. However, it could be appreciate along with one's experience. Abramovic's performance let people reach the point of the liminal moment and her as well.  

Focus on Artist #3 Anish Kapoor

February 08, 2018

One of the most important thing when artist expresses is how artist can evoke their attitude or expression instinctively in their works. Anish Kapoor is one of New British sculptors and tries to let people perceive his art work using a stimulation of sight. Although Kapoor’s work has an individual abstract figure and an ability to give to apprehend his concept instinctively.

      Especially, Kapoor’s art works, Black and Yellow  stimulate people’s function of perception directly. These pieces let viewer’s sensations reconstruct with physical and psychological experience by colors. Viewers deviate from their world which they are used to see, and their perception hovers. The experience can provide people to perceive Kapoor’s world, or how he sees this world, through their bodies. The world that he seeks to exist keeps iterating between material and immaterial, and itself is the coexistence and the movement. His color of work are just tools for creating the presence. He doesn’t use colors as an expression or any emotion but only as scientific function. In the fact, as he was interviewed, he said, “[…] the interplay between the phenomenological, the perceptual, and psychological is the heart of what makes art.”[1] In short, he embodies this philosophy using colors which isn’t included any specific episode and emotion.

    Kapoor’s works often put emphasis on a process or movement because an engagement with the nature and body action is vital for his concept, and it shows the phenomenon which iterates between material and immaterial. For example, My Red Homeland, 2003 and Shouting into the Corner, 2009, these works are moving or in the action of exploding. This method follows in Buddhism’s thought which form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself is form. Furthermore, Buddhism has the manner which seeks the essence in the process of practice, oneself own body being controlled. This attitude is dealt with in his works. In the fact, Kapoor said, “The journey of an artist is a journey of discovery and some engagement with the nature of material, with bodily things and all that has led me to this place.”[2] In like this the quest, he built his own abstract style in order to make the existence of both extremities, material and immaterial, dark and light, visibility and invisibility, creation and destruction.

            Consequently, although Kapoor’s work is categorized into abstract, his ritual of work gives viewers his thought vividly with their physical experience. With the function of action or nature, his ethos is appeared there sequentially. Process itself can be art, should be art. material and immaterial are opposite meaning, but they coexist in his work or conduct, it is engagement and his art.

 

 

[1] In conversation with Marcello Dantas

[2] I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY

Focus on Artist #2 Amy Franceschini

February 01, 2018

Any Franceschini is an American contemporary artist known as an eco artist. Amy Franceschini and Jonathan Meuser corroborated a installation art generating strains of algae to determine which one most efficiently produces hydrogen in a process called "biophotolysis". The art work demonstrate to create the energy product by biophotolysis. DIY Algae/ Hydrogen Bioreactor is to collect hydrogen from algae to encourage alternative nonpolluting energy production, using water, sunlight, and algae, instead of limited resources such as oil, wood, and so on.

Recently, she is a part of the artist group, Futurefarmers. They demonstrate a process of plants to meal with the aesthetics of agriculture. They create sculptural tools for non-functional functional objects related with agriculture or traditions such as Shoemaker's Dialog, 2011, and Land Grant, 2014.  

an idea for installation

February 01, 2018

Until 2006, Mt.Fuji had a serious issue with trash of toilet paper and raw sewage. The bathroom on the top of the mountain discharged them and those excretions made  white lines on the surface of the top of Mt. Fuji. we called it a white river. It can see many national parks where are not set a sewerage system. Actually, I was one of the people who have threw their embarrassing  trash away. Toilet paper seems to be absorbed into nature due to made of wood, but it is not although the sight of the white river was a kind of beautiful. For installation, soil is set in a space and viewers throw a used tissue or towelpaper to the soil. Weak showers are set on the ceiling and dropping water slowly. The installation shows the ironical beautiful landscape.   

reference: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x12pu38

Focus on Artist #1, Gelitin

January 31, 2018

Gelitin is an artist group which consists of four artist. They met in a summer camp in 1978 and started to have exhibitions in 1993.

Gelitin's installation ironically or humorously responds to the aesthetics of cultures and common sense. Gelitin makes us be awake of hypocritical general ideas.

Especially, Loch, in 2013, clearly articulates an skeptical thought about a Western traditional art included music. Loch is a performance based installation. There is a huge block of Styrofoam of twenty-six feet. Artists are standing on the Styrofoam and digging it. they cast a plaster using a hole on the styrofoam and display the object around the huge Styrofoam. The performance seems a mimic of quarrying marble stone with Styrofoam which is cheep and industrial material opposing to marble stone. Actually, some of the artists wear a old traditional Western uniform. Around the huge Styrofoam, musicians play impromptu. Some musicians are naked. each artists humorously respond to what art is. Although their materials and fashion are ridiculous, they lively and seriously create their own art. 

adding new origami cranes works

January 28, 2018

first idea: brainstorming influenced by the book, To Life

January 25, 2018

Plastic containers of products or commodity are the hospitality of seller that a subdivision or packing makes convenient to carry. The idea itself is respectful of the relationship between customers and sellers. However, the attitude became tradition all over the world and became a serious environmental issue. 

In the idea, plastic containers are labeled "Thank you", "Gratitude", "Appreciation" etc in many kinds of language, and These build a tower. The tower is not only a huge quantity of plastic trash but also a huge kindness. The eco art shows ambivalent and contradictory phenomenon from human society. 

second idea: brainstorming influenced by the book, To Life

January 25, 2018

Material: plastic bags

Plastic bags are light and cheep. That makes convenient to carry. However, 275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste was threw away in 192 coastal countries in 2010, with 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons of it end up in the oceans, according to a new estimate published in the journal Science. It shows The existence of plastic as pollution is big, heavy, and a serious problem. 

I pour transparent resin to plastic bag. Viewers can try to lift it. The plastic bag seems to be light but actually heavy. That project suggests the impact of the gap of plastic bags.