Tsunan Museum of the Lost
Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong
49 found objects, text, dimensions variable, 2019

Where is Tsunan?

Tsunan is a Japanese township founded in 1955 from the merging of six villages. It is situated some 100km south of the city of Niigata and has a population of approximately 10,000 and is spread over an area of 170 square kilometres. Its geographic location, being surrounded by the Japan Sea and a series of mountain ranges, means that it has hot summers and cold winters, often with extremely heavy snowfall. Since 1970, the population has declined by more than 40% and it now has an aging population with close to 40% of its residents being aged 65 or older.

Well known for its beautiful rice fields and quality crops, Tsunan’s major industries are agriculture and tourism. Since 2000 an art triennial has been held in the Echigo-Tsumari region of which Tsunan is part of. The triennial has had the added benefit of attracting many younger people from both Japan and elsewhere to visit this quiet, peaceful place.

What is the Lost?

Sensibility and memory fade and diminish over time. Today we live in a society where we interact with a seemingly unlimited number of people during our life. But over time many of these interactions drift or seemingly vanish in both our perception and our memory. Some of these interactions remain, as part of our personal history, hidden deeply within our subconscious until one day we redis- cover them in such things as family photo albums, newspapers or a magazine that we read. These are the people that are lost in the memory of Tsunan. In re-discovering them we reveal blind spots in our perceptions.

Museum of the Lost

The Museum of the Lost was founded in 2013 by Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong. The museum preserves objects and images in which the captured subjects’ identities have been lost or forgotten, namely those who had been photographed incidentally or become part of a photographs background, and as such remain unrecognisable or unidentifiable. As part of a study of history these lost identities are studied, interpreted and further disseminated by means of exhibitions and publications. As part of this process during the summer of 2018 the Tsunan Museum of the Lost was opened temporarily to the public at Hong Kong House, which is located in Kamigo Village, as part of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale.
Collection (click for detail information):  

Some of the anonymous figures in the above images were further studied and referred in the following studio portraits of the artists themselves. (Click for details)
A photography session was organized for the last day of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2018 for the purpose of recreating the original moment forgotten figures were recorded. (Click for details)