Kazuko Hohki, Evidence for the Existence of Borrowers

Review in Issue 17-1 | Spring 2005

Happiness for Everyone is the catchphrase of the Borrowers International Network, which (we are led to believe by Hohki and her collaborators, Andy Cox and Mervyn Millar) was set up to promote cultural exchange between Borrowers and Human Beans. We start with an introductory lecture on the organisation's valuable work, then are taken on a tour around all sorts of hidden corners of BAC including the roof-space where we sit precariously balanced between beams listening to a concert played on Binstruments – mini instruments made from spoons, pins and teeny wooden boxes. This promenade piece is a delight – particularly for anyone familiar with Mary Norton's stories of tiny people who live beneath the floorboards. We experience Borrowers' homes through peepholes, play miniature hockey, enter a museum of Borrowers' art and artefacts, read emails from a Borrower who has made contact (although sadly couldn't be with us that evening) and see a singing mini-person in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet. An especially lovely touch is the little clues all around the building, not drawn attention to – clothes peg here, a matchbox there. There are moments when the conceit of the piece flags – I grow a wee bit tired of the Network – but this is a minor gripe. Its strength lies in the ingenious artistic concept, the meticulous making skills, the music (with contributions by Hohki, Cox and Clive Bell) and engaging performance that brings the audience into its alternative reality with a complete suspension of disbelief. Now, everyone who believes in Borrowers, clap your hands.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-1
p. 26