Stay Home Sakoku: the hikikomori project (2012)

(Installation, Performance, Work)

Stay Home Sakoku: The Hikikomori Project was an introverted performance exploring the Japanese phenomenon of hikikomori or ‘shut in’ syndrome. Eugenia lived inside a bedroom installation at West Space for seven days. Web cams streamed her image live 24/7 to a ‘hiki portal’ at www.stayhomesakoku.com, a custom project online chat room. Inspired by the landmark one-year projects of Tehching Hsieh, Lim lived by the following rules:


I, Eugenia Lim, will retreat from physical society for one week.

I will stay within the four walls of the 5m x 5m back-space at West Space gallery, never going outside. I will not speak to anyone or receive any visitors.

I will bring in only essentials, including objects for a digital life.
I will post an inventory of all items on the hiki-portal before I enter the space.

For nourishment, I will bring in only water. I will depend on the kindness of
strangers and the local community for my food and survival.

Gifts are welcome, otherwise all media and entertainment I consume will not take a physical form: everything I watch, listen, play and read will be via the internet, including Henri-Louis Bergson’s Time and Free Will (there is no negation in duration).

I will post an updated inventory of all items collected at the end of my week.

I will be on view from 6pm on Thursday 22 March until 6pm on Thursday 29 March 2012. Gallery hours are Wed – Fri 12-6pm and Sat 12pm-5pm. Online viewing during this time will occur via live-captured stills 24/7.

I invite the networked world to participate via the hiki portal at www.stayhomesakoku.com

Performance, Installation and Online

Collaborators: Yumi Umiumare (Movement, Dramaturgy), Dan West (Sound), DP Wolf (Web Design)
Supporters: Australia Council for the Arts, City of Melbourne, West Space