This is the story of Akane Takayama’s DOG Sculpture Installation in London during 2010. A groundbreaking work based on very simple concepts but involving many layers, not least the use of Social Media as an intrinsic element of the installation long before “selfies” were ever a vogue. Ostensibly a simple work, DOG is a complex construction delivering a raft of outcomes for the communities involved. Takayama’s vision of conceptual contemporary art potentially being a vehicle for community expression and releasing it from the chains of wealthy patronage and the snobbishness of gallery politics is realised in her DOG sculptures.
The following video gives you some idea of the thinking behind DOG and how it evolved in London. Takayama started in her Hackney studio by creating the form and templates to create the sculpture. All this came about from a night when she saw a model of an animal thrown into a waste skip at the back of a shop in London’s West End. In that forlorn reject, she saw a statement of the commodification of materials and perceived a question about how we value items in our consumer commodity driven society. They may be cardboard DOGs but they present a steel challenge to our values and how we construct them.
After the video, there is a sequenced gallery of images to take you through the whole process, production and delivery of a contemporary art public sculpture. In this story, you will see the involvement of the community, the contribution of primary school children and the work of education professionals who are all brought together by the artist to create an installation which then morphed into a digital media entity through social media.
The original idea was quite simple, it was just about creating a simple model of a DOG and then displaying them in numbers large enough to transcend the individual simplicity and create another impact.