Another Hermit Crab Gets a New Home in a 3D Printed Japanese Wedding Chapel Shell

Share this Article

Almost exactly one year ago, we covered Japanese artist Aki Inomata’s fascinating project to 3D print hermit crab shells in the forms of various iconic skylines. Those tiny crawling cityscapes, printed in clear plastic, provided complete shells for the crabs and gave them elegant exoskeletons which I can only imagine made them the envy of the hermit crab social scene.

aki-inomata-white-chapel-hermit-crab-shelter-designboom-02In the time since then, Inomata has created a new shell habitat for her beloved crustaceans, this time in the form of a Japanese wedding chapel. This is more than just another whimsical creation, however. In this design, she questions the relationship between colonization and ownership that she sees as part of the relationship between Japanese culture and its Western counterpart.

While Christianity is a decidedly minority religion in Japan, the majority of contemporary weddings are held in chapels which are designed based on an agglomeration of ideas of Christian-esque architecture. This combination of imagery, aesthetics, and structure has fascinated Inomata as she travels around the world.aki-inomata-white-chapel-hermit-crab-shelter-designboom-03

“When I visit western countries, I sometimes notice the origin of archtecture (sic), habits, foods, etc… in Japan, they would be transformed into local styles, and I ask myself, ‘are we Japanese living in a mimicry of western world?’ For me, these imitations, or I would say reproductions or rearrangements, of Western-style architecture, seem to reflect identities of post-colonialism inside of the Japanese people,” says Inomata.

This type of relationship between cultures is not a one-way street. A visit to home stores such as Pier One or Crate & Barrel reveals a wide array of borrowed styles pushed together into pieces that are considered “Japanese” or “Asian.” This type of fusion is also found in food, fashion, and philosophies (forgive me for the incomplete alliteration) as well as throughout history. The Romans cannibalized Greek forms as was convenient and morphed them into something considered Greek while it would never have been recognized by the Greeks as such.

aki-inomata-white-chapel-hermit-crab-shelter-designboom-06The hermit crab is a particularly fitting creature with which to do such explorations as it is a soft naked creature that requires an external shell to protects itself and will colonize the abandoned shells left behind by their larger cousins. This particular shell is part of a series ‘Why Not Hand Over a Shelter to Hermit Crabs.’

The question is: are they merely colonizing a derivative form or are they truly their shell’s author since each wears it individually?

The answer: They are hermit crabs and not bothered by such ridiculous existential self-doubt.

Humans, however, are endlessly fascinated with their identities and as Western-style culture becomes popularly practiced around the world, people living in places outside of what is considered to be the birthplace of such culture often question the authenticity of their own creations and the subject/object relationships embodied in such hybrids. The very idea of purity is, of course, elusive as humanity’s one instinct seems to be adaptation.

aki-inomata-white-chapel-hermit-crab-shelter-designboom-07The video of the hermit crab doing its crabby thing while in the crystalline wedding chapel is fairly zen in and of itself. The crab simply moves along with its beautiful symbol of loving union among two creatures that serves to protect it from the glancing blows of spatial navigation. Rather than asking itself questions, the crab is unwittingly communicating an important message to all of us:

Whatever shell you wear, do it naturally and you can’t help but be beautiful.

Join the conversation about Inomata’s creations in the 3D Printed Chapel Hermit Crab Shell forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

aki-inomata-white-chapel-hermit-crab-shelter-designboom-01

 

Share this Article


Recent News

SLA 3D Printing: Formlabs Offers Six New Resins for the Form 3, Form 3B & Form 2

COVID-19: Ivaldi’s Nora Toure on 3D Printing and the Supply Chain



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Featured

RIZE Introduces Adaptive 2XC Desktop 3D Printer for Offices, Schools, and Homes

In 2016, Massachusetts-based 3D printing company RIZE Inc. released its first industrial-grade desktop 3D printer, the Rize One, renowned for its safety, low emissions, and elimination of post-processing. Then, in...

Royal DSM Acquires Portion of Clariant 3D Printing Materials

Royal DSM has announced that it will be taking over portions of the 3D printing portfolio of Swiss chemical giant Clariant, representing a somewhat dramatic shift in the additive manufacturing...

3D Printing News Briefs, June 24, 2020: Intech Additive, Titomic, PrintLab, LEHVOSS Group

We’re talking about business, education, and materials in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. Intech Additive Solutions is introducing a new executive, while Titomic says goodbye to its chairman and hello...

Featured

Made In Space Acquired by New Space Company Redwire

In an era of endless mega-mergers and acquisitions, perhaps nearly every startup’s dream is to one day become big enough to be bought out. That dream has now been fulfilled...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.