Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent?

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Those who visited the Green Tea Gallery booth during Frieze London last weekend were offered complimentary vegetable soup—which turned out to be a live performance piece. Artists Ei and Tomoo Arakawa, with the help of their mother, made soup using ingredients sourced from Fukushima, Japan (where the nuclear disaster occurred, after the 2011 tsunami and earthquake damaged the plant). Though the shiitake mushroom and daikon radishes were certified safe by the Japanese Farmers Association (no radioactivity detected), it was clear that there was a psychological barrier many audience members had when confronted with the soup; even Arakawa’s mother was anxious about serving soup to younger guests—these mixed feelings of ambiguity and trust are what the United Brothers wanted to explore in this installation, called “Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent?”