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“Seeing Is Believing” [1996]

HACHIYA Kazuhiko


An electronic signboard installed in the exhibition space shows letters that consist mostly of infrared and only partly of visible light LEDs, which is why they are not readable as letters with the naked eye. Only when viewed through a special device called “Hitsuji (sheep),” the signboard reveals texts collected for the “Mega Diary” project that was implemented at the time of the work’s initial presentation.

The idea behind “Mega Diary,” started in 1995, was to ask various people to contribute diaries via PC communication or the Internet. The artist refers to his dream of a library collecting diaries written by people around the world as the catalyst that inspired him to launch the project. In a way it may be considered as a realization of the dreamed library in times saturated with web services such as blogs and Twitter.

As a matter of course, other people’s daily activities don’t meet our eyes unless we are eager to know. Even if we manage to catch a glimpse, we will never be able to completely understand that particular person. When reading the diaries written by someone somewhere through the “Hitsuji” viewer, visitors will surely feel how communication is facilitated by our desire to know facts about people we can only imagine from the fragmented information we have about them.



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