Shako Club (or Social Club)
Shako club or social club is a project initiated by artist Cindy Mochizuki and the members of Vancouver’s Tonari Gumi (Vancouver’s Japanese Community Volunteer Association), an association that serves primarily Japanese Canadian seniors and new immigrants to Canada. Over the course of 2 months, the artist will create a social club setting where she will engage with seniors in a system of creative exchange. Mochizuki’s project will focus on the commercial kitchen facilities at Tonari Gumi, and the daily lunch service offered to members. Together, Mochizuki and the seniors (who regularly participate in courses and workshops on manju-making, cooking, ikebana and other craft- and food-based activities) will work to create a bento box (a traditional Japanese lunchbox containing a selection of small dishes) that combines both a culinary and sculptural sensibility with stories, memories and advice, selected with care. These custom bento boxes will be produced in an edition of 150 and distributed as lunchbox takeaways through Tonari Gumi, the Powell Street Festival (who is on board as a community partner) and grunt gallery.