Julia Lohmann



Saturday, April 6th, 2013

The Department of Seaweed @ the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

This is day one at the Department of Seaweed at the V&A in London. For the coming six months I will be artist in residence (or, if you will ‘Head of the Department of Seaweed’) at the world’s leading museum of art and design. Together with a group of collaborators from different craft disciplines we are developing materials from kelp and objects from the materials created. This blog will regularly be updated with news from the Department of Seaweed. If you have an interest in kelp, design, craft and/or collaborative artistic practice and happen to be in London in the coming six months come and visit us between 13.00-16.00h on the following days:


April: 24th, 27th

May: 8th, 11th, 15th

June: 8th, 12th, 22nd, 26th

July: 10th, 13th, 24th, 27th

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

The Catch, Sapporo, Japan


Julia Lohmann’s 90 m² installation ‘The Catch’ confronts viewers with a vast empty ocean, depleted by over-fishing and our unthinking consumption of marine life. Visitors are swept up in towering waves made of used empty fish boxes taken from Sapporo’s fish market. Unwittingly, they find themselves drifting into its womb-like core. ‘The Catch’ is modeled on an Almadraba, a Mediterranean tuna trap now obsolete due to lack of tuna. It is inspired by Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. The installation probes our fatal beliefs in endless supplies of marine life, in inflated fishing quotas and our reluctance to act on scientific research.

Photography: Yoshisato Komaki







Friday, December 7th, 2007

Exhibition: The Catch & A Pension of Norland 08.12.07-16.12.07

S-AIR presents the work of their current residents Yen-Yi Chen (Taiwan) and Julia Lohmann (UK).

08.12.07-16.12.07, 12.00-19.00 h

Private View: Saturday 08.12. from 17.00
Artist Talk: Sunday 09.12. from 14.00

Japanese speakers please see the flyer below. When you stand in front of Tokyo Hands in Sapporo the exhibition is two houses down to your right, on the sixth floor. There is a wooden carved elephant in front of the building.





Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Bound in a Tokyo Nutshell


Gero spent his last night in Japan in a Tokyo capsule hotel, the pinnacle of anonymous abodes. The tiny pods, stacked like bunk beds, twenty per hallway, in who knows how many hallways on six floors, looked like leftovers from the film set of 2001 – A Space Odyssey. The light of capsule 5008 glowed like the eye of HAL. Guests in this men only establishment are issued with pale blue pyjamas and a towel and then left to their own devices in the maze of the hotel. There are communal TV lounges, baths, and infinite-looking washrooms full of mirrors, probably to counter claustrophobia. Most guests prefer to stay in their capsules though, entertaining themselves with a small TV set with channels ranging from traditional Japanese pottery to hardcore Japanese porn.


Capsule 5008


Somewhere in the infinite washroom


The ever-present ‘No Yakuza’ signs

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

From Salmon Skin to Leather

Today, S-AIR hosted the second salmon skin workshop. Under the expert tuition of an Ainu instructor we learned how to transform salmon skins into supple white leather. After a short demonstration he quickly got us to do the work (especially the two boys in the group) while he supervised with a very dignified air.

So how does Ainu fish-leather-making work? The salmon skins are rolled up and laid in a groove cut into a massive wooden block. Under constant turning, they are then hammered with a large wooden mallet until they are soft. They are then ‘broken’ further in another wooden contraption before the scales can be removed with tweezers or pliers. Et voila – salmon skin leather.

Normally, it takes two days of relentless pummeling before the salmon skins are supple enough to be used for clothing. I think everyone who took part will remember the favourite words of our otherwise monosyllabic instructor for a long long time: “mada mada” [phonetic spelling, probably quite wrong], which translates as “Not yet, not yet” – or more to the point: “Get on with it!”.

To reward everyone for their hard labour we concluded the workshop with drinks and a feast of European and Japanese salmon dishes, followed by a screening of German short films from the Sapporo Short Film Festival showreel.


Our instructor shows how it is done.


Salmon skin about to be pummeled into submission


Mada mada!


Get on with it!


Top: unprocessed salmon skin; bottom left: softened skin, scales partially removed; bottom right: the finished salmon skin leather.


Detail of softened salmon skin, scales partially removed.


The workshop participants tuck into a well-earned dinner.