“A catalogue in the newspaper, a piece of paper that became scrap paper after someone wrote a letter on it, a little piece of paper between books, too many wrappers for hamburgers, chips and pastries, a flyer someone stuck on a wall…
Any paper works well, as long as it is an ordinary piece of paper from an unknown source. The moment your pen touches it, this abandoned paper comes back to life. But, please put your mind on the paper. It does not matter if you are the first or me. A bundle of letters accumulating in a postbox is recorded and stored, and finally opened again for the world to see 2 years later. I am waiting for your letter; such records exist for the Letter Cross Project that has been ongoing for 2 years.”
Today, people send messages back and forth in real time with smartphones. They also send e-mails for some longer messages. It has even become difficult to find hand-written letters anymore. Even bills are available electronically nowadays and don’t need to be sent by snail mail. The postbox is usually filled with useless flyers. In a sense, Baksohada’s Letter Cross Project gives us a chance to bring back the warmth of a hand-written letter.
“Letters become one’s memory and the storage of one’s consciousness, even without their original intention. You take a pen and write out your real heart. Even with the feeling of touching a corner of the paper, you will be able to feel that your once-crisp sentiment becomes full.”
The project was simple. Almost 40 people – those who do not have a close relationship with the author – write letters to the author to the address announced on his homepage. The author sent letters back and forth with them for between 3 and 5 times, under the condition that ‘everyone needs to write letters on trashed paper or used materials, not new paper.’
This project has been carried out meaningfully with keywords, ‘recycle’ and ‘communication,’ and slowly over a couple of years. This project sees ‘letters’ as passages to share people’s minds. This is just a simple task: letting go of the formality of ‘letter paper’ and delivering one’s mind using ‘something you can write on’ around you. The moment you put your mind out for someone, the fliers you were about to crumple and throw away or boxes of snacks you already ate become fabulous letter paper. Actually, it is difficult to put your whole heart in an e-mail when you sit at a computer because you can easily type out a message and send it straight over to someone with just a click.
In a time not too long ago, people were carefully attaching stamps to letters that played a role in delivering people’s minds to others as well as collecting those minds from others. People who live in the digital generation of the present but also once lived in the previous generation of analogue would feel sympathy to this joyful yet patient process of delivering ‘heart.’
Pieces of materials that had been collected through this project ended up being a part of an exhibition called ‘A Passage to Share Minds.’ A variety of letters and writings console readers’ hearts and it seems that warm hearts stay within these envelopes fixed to walls. One way of communicating, which we have forgotten, is quietly but strongly portrayed. It shows how one mind is connected to another. You also get to look back at your own mind as you are reading these little pieces of thoughts and concerns shared by about 40 different anonymous authors.
Right at this moment, let us think about someone precious whom you truly cherish in your mind. If you have some words that you haven’t wholly communicated, why don’t you take out paper and a pen rather than just using a computer? Let’s put it into action, with a light hand but a full heart. Mind is something that comes to life when you earnestly and whole-heartedly deliver. Someone who receives your whole heart will share that warm heart with someone else. In this way, the ‘real’ mind, truthful mind, will never disappear and stay in the world forever.