Pink Puke! Art unit Chim↑Pom's Ellie in the video piece "Erigero" from 2005. Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo.

Chim↑Pom: An Art Squad of 6

Who would make a video of a cute young woman spewing up bright pink vomit? Who would pull a it’s me scam and direct the money into a complete stranger’s bank account? In the name of art, such interesting projects are being carried out by Chim↑Pom, a group of 6 artists who got together in 2005. Today PingMag tries to figure out exactly what they are up to.

Written by Ayana
Translated by Kevin Mcgue

A group photo of Chim↑Pom to commemorate their participation in the prestigious Venice Biennale in 2007…not! This photo was done guerrilla-style at Tokyo Disney Sea resort. ©2007 Chim↑Pom. Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

To start, could you all introduce yourselves?

Inaoka: I’m Inaoka. I build walls and make things with plaster.
Mizuno: I’m Mizuno. I’m going to be doing even more disgusting stuff this year, so please look out for it.
Okada: I’m Okada. I don’t have a specific role, so I do stuff on the sly.
Hayashi: I’m Hayashi. I do all sorts of chores for Chim↑Pom.
Ellie: I’m Ellie, Chim↑Pom’s leader…just kidding. I usually work on my blog.
Ushiro: I’m Ushiro. I guess you could say I am our captain.

So what does Chim↑Pom do?

Ellie: We show a wonderful world that most people don’t normally see.

I heard that you were all influenced by the contemporary artist Makoto Aida, but how did Chim↑Pom get started?

Ushiro: Ellie is very bright and cute, so we have always been friends. Whenever I did something interesting with Ellie, I thought that we could turn it into art.

I really want to ask you about some of your works. You made the “Super☆Rat,” a real rat, taxidermically stuffed, and frozen in a cute Pikachu pose. Could you tell us about that?

The rather cute “Super☆Rat” at the recent “Art@Agnes” art fair. Image by PingMag

Ushiro: It all started when I realized that the rats that you can see in Shibuya’s Center-gai and the girls in Pikachu costumes, walking around in the same area, really look the same! I looked into it a bit and found out that recently, some rats have developed immunities to rat poisons. They survive to pass this adaptation on to their offspring. People in the extermination business call them “super rats.” I decided to make “Super Rat” the name of one of our exhibitions. These super rats have developed into what they are because of human activities. Even though humans are trying to exterminate the rats, they have become an eradicable part of society. I also thought that the type of girls that hang around Center-gai are a bit similar.

But why is the rat in this pose?

Ellie: We wanted to do a faithful recreation of one of the poses that Pikachu often has in manga. I put a metal rod in its tail and bent it into a zig-zag shape just like Pikachu’s tail.

By the way, how did you get the rat in the first place?

Mizuno: We weren’t able to get a big rat with a trap. We saw an old guy who worked at a ramen shop beating garbage bags with a stick to drive away rats, and that gave us an idea. We beat on some garbage that had been put out and caught the rats with a net as they ran out. It was as easy as catching fish in a small pond. In 20 minutes we had caught 5 or 6 of them. We finished so quickly, we didn’t even have to pay that much for parking. (Laughs) What was interesting was that as we were leaving, a club tout told us, “don’t leave yet,” and then he gave us advice on how to catch female rats as well. (Laughs)

Chim↑Pom’s member catching rats in Shibuya, from the “Super Rat” DVD. © 2006 Chim↑Pom. Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

It sounds like you have a lot of fun. Could you tell me about “I’m Bokan”?

Ellie: When I was in junior high school, I saw images on TV of Princess Di walking in a minefield. That made a lasting impression on me. Much later, when Ushiro and Hayashi asked me what my dream was, I told them “clearing minefields.” We actually decided to do it, going to Cambodia for a month.

“I’m Bokan” from the “SPEECH” DVD. ©2007 Chim↑Pom. Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

In this project, you blew up some of your personal belongings. Why is that?

Ushiro: I have never seen Japanese things that have been blown up by mines, so I decided to destroy my own personal property.

“Explosion” from “I’m Bokan” DVD, 2007. ©2007 Chim↑Pom. Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

The other day you held an auction in which the prices went down rather than up, with the proceeds going to Cambodian charities. Could you tell us about that?

Ushiro: That is related to the recent bubble in the art market. I want to take our works and set them at the price of Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull that reportedly sold for $100 million, or Takashi Murakami’s Miss Ko2, which sold for $567,500. Starting with these prices, we worked our way down.

Hayashi: We got the musician Seiko Ito to be our auctioneer. We started by posing the question, “how many prosthetic legs could be bought with the $100 million that Hirst’s work got?” At one point I was thinking that it would be hard to donate all that money. The prices went down and down from there, and more and more hands went up. I had the feeling that the whole audience was deciding the final auction price.

Ellie: I was happy to see that normal businesspeople, not only collectors, were raising their hands at first. The auction was one link in the chain of “I’m Bokan.”

Could you tell us about your recent work, “Black of Death”?

Ushiro: We heard that the taxidermist we met during the “Super Rat” project was using stuffed crows to amass live crows. So when we opened an exhibition at Laforet Gallery, we decided to get together as many crows as we could, and we certainly got a lot of them.

Panic in the streets of Shibuya! Using a stuffed crow and a loudspeaker broadcasting crow sounds, Chim↑Pom amassed a huge number of crows at the fashion center of 109: “BLACK OF DEATH (above 109, Shibuya, Tokyo 2007)” ©2007 Chim↑Pom. Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo.

Beginning at Yoyogi Park, Inaoka rode his scooter down towards Shibuya station. Ellie was on the back of the scooter with the stuffed crow and the loudspeaker. We filmed from a car in front of the scooter. This was all done around 5 a.m., when a lot of garbage is being put out and there are a lot of crows. By the time we got to 109, the sky was really something to see.

Wow! Ellie, weren’t you scared?

Ellie: No, not at all. The crows never attacked. Actually, this is a work in progress, so we will do it again.

Ushiro: The title “Black of Death” made me think of the funeral of a mafia leader, or crows circling above a bad man about to die.

Mizuno: There is nothing that doesn’t die.

Of course! Do you get ideas like that often?

Ushiro: Yes. Basically, I am an ideaman, so I always have a stock of ideas. Putting form to those, we don’t necessarily work in the context of art, we do something we want to do from our own state of impetus. For example, our simple motivation to go to Cambodia was to help Ellie realize her dream of doing work with landmines.

Have you discovered anything as a result of going out and creating art in the field?

Ellie: There are a lot of things you understand by actually doing them, and there are many things you see for the first time if you go out into the world.

Ushiro: And it is simply pleasurable. While out working on things, chance and fate become immediate feedback into what we are doing, and this raises our motivation.

Mizuno: By looking into things that aren’t known, you go down a new road where you find something new and charismatic. However, everyone we meet seems to have similar auras.

Do you have any final message for people who will be viewing your works?

Ushiro: We are doing what we really want to, and I hope more people will be able to do the same.

Ellie: You know, I just love Chim↑Pom! Ellie is so cute!

Art can be fun! Chim↑Pom’s members pose for a group photo. Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

The cover of Chim↑Pom’s DVD “P.T.A” from 2006. ©2006 Chim↑Pom. Courtesy of Mujin-to Production, Tokyo

Thanks so much to everyone at Chim↑Pom for showing us your fun art today!

  • nyuudo

    Slapstick Art Guerilla!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Ellie chan is cute Sure but is that enough? I like the reverse auction. What was the outcome? How much did they make? Has this money been sent to Cambodia then? It is fun, is it art/ can it be sold as such, Does that matter? Is is fashion? How are they influenced by Makoto Aida? What has he done in this line?

  • Akai

    This is crazy lol
    But I like them.

  • David

    Those are the real freaks of our time, and she is for sure cute… not!

  • hornybastard

    wtf is this crap but the chic is smoking hot

  • Soap


  • Anonymous

    um…so what do they exactly do ?

  • an

    um…so what do they exactly do ?

  • Matt Evans

    I met them at their Bokan opening. They were showing the designer items they had exploded in Cambodia and I thought it was an very interesting project. Way more so than anything Murakami has done recently.
    I definitely would not call them posers.

  • DEENiri

    does Chim Pom have a website? A myspace page? I want to add them as a friend to keep up with their progress…

  • Random

    Very nice article and interview – thanks!

  • Pingback: Diálogo Brasil-Japón / Parte2 | BlogCouture

  • Will

    Just saw a few of Chim Pom’s work in a exhibit here in Brazil… (Erigero, Super Rat and Black of Death)

    Thought it was simply great! That’s what brought me to this interview…

  • Charlie

    Japan’s Tracy Emmin but sexier and more fun.

  • Trish

    Amazing. I want to keep up with their work from now on. I just love random discoveries like this. I think they make their teacher proud. ^_~

    And she is cute. Their work, although strange, is original.

  • Pingback: Kevin Mcgue - Tokyo-Based Journalist & Filmmaker » Chim↑Pom: An Art Squad of 6

  • Pingback: Backtrack Post #1 « Tokyo High Life

  • Pingback: Kevin Mcgue | “Chim↑Pom: An Art Squad of 6″ Translation

  • Technology

    I met them at their Bokan opening

  • really?

    Sorry, is this art?? Disgusting, and did you know they made fun of Hiroshima victims by atomic bomb? Absolutely disgusting people.

  • John Elias

    Wow, that’s some pretty crazy stuff, but very cool, I like it. Art should be creative and these guys definitely are!

  • seks

    does Chim Pom have a website? A myspace page? I want to add them as a friend to keep up with their progress…

  • Riding Lawn Mower Store

    I really like your website. I’m looking for a lawnmower repair in

  • exercise

    This website is plenty of extremely useful information!

  • Anonymous

    Great website. I like this info your providing.

  • football college betting

    Hey, I like your website, it is a wonderful site! I’m looking for some informations about sports betting to put in my page.

  • innovative healthcare

    Thanks for the information about this topic.

  • energie rinnovabili

    Pannelli Fotovoltaici

  • Ransford Taylor

    Am glad I found a site like this, very resourceful and easy to navigate.

  • Free Traffic Referrals

    Everyday I learn something new and im loving it.

  • Werner Morgan

    Hi, maybe this is not on subject but in any case, I have been browsing about your web site and it looks truly tidy. impassioned about your writing. I’m building a new web log and hard put to make it appear great, and provide really good content. I have discovered much on your web site and I look forward to more updates and will be coming back.

  • Definition Strategy

    Great,I want to see the many development of this site.

  • hotels,london hotels

    I am looking for hotels in london. I like the facilities available, great stuff.

  • will

    I want to meet them, it would be cool as heck to see them in Winston Salem north Carolina, the best art collaboration I have ever seen. Come on out and show the usa what is really going on.

  • Fence PA

    Hmm okay so what’s this about?

  • Video Production Philadelphia

    Puke abstracts as art. Strange. But yeah.

  • Pergola Construction

    Yes, they do seem abnormal. In a good kind of way at some point maybe. Teehee.

  • Wedding Videographer Philadelphia

    Is Pikachu a rat? They do look similar. This is a good combination this bunch here. They seem like weirdos but it’s all clean fun.

  • Bill Poulos

    I think you convey some interesting factors that not too many individuals discuss . It’s interesting to see it from this perspective. I really enjoyed the post!

  • nited health care

    Good topic..keep the good content coming

  • Examples Viral Marketing

    I am a giant fan of foreign exchange and finance so I find this topic very interesting. I always like to undertsand a brand new method of looking at it. Thanks for the information.

  • 4g cell phone

    Enjoy this site very much. 4g is now happening wave of the “future” if you will, and just keeps getting better.

  • mulberry bags

    Content like this is a great change of pace for me. I feel fervently about this and I like learning about this subject

  • Car Insurance

    Thanks for entertaining the thought.

  • Get 125.000 visitors Free with Mighty Solos

    succes in your online business

  • Get 125.000 visitors Free with Mighty Solos

    Niels van raak

  • gta kitchen cabinets in toronto

    I like your website,looking for the best kitchen cabinets in town gta.

  • Register Now

    Submit Your Resume

  • Pingback: How To Make Adorable Pikachus Out Of Taxidermied Rats | BNewsworld

  • smycken online

    very good. thank you

  • χριστουγεννιατικα δεντρα

    χριστουγεννιατικα δεντρα,χριστουγεννιατικα στολιδια

  • xristougenniatika
  • christian louboutin

    Hey, I like your website, it is a wonderful site! I’m looking for some informations about sports betting to put in my page.

  • hairstyles

    New Information About Hairstyles and Haircuts.

  • Kindle

    Very Good content. Its excellent for design world and Japan.

  • men watches online

    It is really a nice post, it is always great reading such posts,dd

  • tigara electronica ego tank

    Exetrmely helpful article, please write more. Team tigara electronica ego tank

  • Cell Phone Accessories

    This is my Excerpt

  • Dildo
  • School of thai massage

    school of thai massage and spa certificaes Association of thai treditional medicine Appoved by the Ministry of Health

  • Canon Black Friday

    Thank You FYI.

  • technology

    Check out our Cyber Monday deals on everything from cell phones with service to no-contract phones, unlocked phones, Bluetooth headsets, cases, chargers, and more

  • Timex Watches

    Timex Waterproof Watches

  • toko jasa

    wow… is cool….

  • The Visayas

    Thank you so much for this content, Im so lucky and glad that I found this website, Please keep this website going and I will keep

  • Removing Tattoos Naturally

    Your business sounds very interesting. It is great to have businesses that can contribute to so much to our society these days.

  • HalloHi Social Network

    HalloHi is Social Network service . You can write what ever you want you have your space on this site and you can do whatever you want share music , videos , write blogs , read blogs , ask question , answer question , play games , upload documents , do

  • HalloHi Social Network

    HalloHi is Social Network service . You can write what ever you want you have your space on this site and you can do whatever you want share music , videos , write blogs , read blogs , ask question , answer question , play games , upload documents , do what ever you want your free space:))).

  • Online Information

    This is the only blog that can keep you updated with latest information in every sphere of life. Whatsoever it may be health, automobile, science and technology.

  • المرأة

    I always visit your blog and retrieve everything you post here but I never commented but today when I saw this post, I couldn t stop myself from commenting here. Fantastic article!

  • roll up awnings

    Hey this is awesome blogs. Keep posted usefull information. Thank you

  • zayifla

    Thank you. O like this post. I would like to share at my facebook account.

  • Real estate

    Imobiliare, vanzari case, vanzari apartamente, terenuri, craiova

  • Social Network

    Enter to the safest social networking site! Love GENERATION –> Free Forum Free Blog Free Ads

  • illslick

    Thanks for this post. It is very useful. I hope you will write an article. This issue again.

  • Malaysia’s Online Marketplace

  • Biggfirma

    Thanks for this post. It is very useful.

  • Hochzeitsband NRW | Hochzeitsmusiker | Musiker f�r Hochzeit |

    Live Music MOTET – Deutsch Polnische Hochzeitsband (Band) Polnische Hochzeitsband

  • whirlpool washers

    Hi ….. I have information about Whirlpool washers, you should read them and get tips and tricks commersial business with Whirlpool washers.

  • Live Music MOTET – deutsch polnische Hochzeitsband f�r Ihre Hochzeitsfeier.
  • Software Juridico e Programa Juridico e CRM Juridico

    Software Juridico totalmente web para advogados, escritorios de advocacia e deptos Juridicos. Programa para advocacia

  • günlük kiralık

    Aylık kiralık villa kampanyalarımızı takip ediniz, beş yıldızlı otel konforunda, SPA, türk hamamı, açık ve kapalı havuz farklılığına 97 TL ye sahip olun

  • advertise to millions

    Im so happy, now that I found your website, your contend is very informative and educational. I will always come back for

  • الخرج

    {…} good {…} Thanks for the good works

  • galaxy

    Im so happy, now that I found your website, your contend is very informative and educational. Best regards

  • Sensorik

    Im so happy,about your website, your contend is very good and educational.

  • hlektroniko tsigaro

    Very nice site.Thanks

  • Pingback: Rodent Dialogue - ANIMAL WALLPAPER

  • Pingback: CASE STUDIES: TACTICAL MEDIA – Black of Death (2007) | Pile O'Words