EATING IN PUBLIC occasionally participates in gallery + museum programming. Here, exhibitions take the form of distribution centers or how-to demonstrations.
Wanted: Basket makers Apply Here. Will Train. (2021)
Honolulu Museum of Art (Hawai‘i)
This exhibition is an offshoot of Carrying Capacity, a durational project Gaye Chan began in 2012 that stemmed from a chance encounter at a produce distribution company. With the expressed purpose to get a case of overripe tomatoes to make sauce, she noticed heaps of baling straps. As commodities move across the globe, baling straps like these are found binding box to box, paper to paper, and everything to pallets. Used once and discarded into the waste stream. Unable to simply walk away, Chan gave herself the task of figuring out how to reuse them. After watching countless youtube videos on basket making methods from around the world, she managed to develop a basic weaving technique. Nine years and nearly a thousand baskets later, she continues to extend the life of this ‘waste’ material through making and skill-sharing in a variety of tactics.
In addition to making DIY instructions available, periodic in-person ‘trainings,’ and unannounced appearances occurred during the exhibition. At the close of this exhibition, all straps were distributed.