why do you occasionally become a hamster? Sako Kojima: I spent the summer of 2002 indoors and alone. My life was empty, all I did was go to the nearby supermarket to buy a simple meal and then come back home to sleep. One day I realized that my life was similar to a hamster’s. To me, becoming a hamster is a symbol of how life in today’s standardized society is safe and we’re spared from hunger, but we’re not living.
I have a tear in my eye now. We don’t suffer from physical pain, but we seem to have lost the pleasure of living. Our pain is mental, like self-injury, wrist-cutting syndrome and anorexia nervosa. They are ways for people to feel alive in this overprotected society. That’s how my mental suffering started.
Is giving into and living out this hamster existence something you do instead of stuffing your face with multicolored antidepressants? While doing the performance I’m almost mindless, as my head goes empty when I mimic a hamster’s movement. When I move quickly, my heart beats faster and my feeling of shame disappears as the world outside gradually becomes meaningless to me.