A number of hermit crabs are getting to travel all over the world from the comfort of their own home, due to some bespoke shells created by artist Aki Inomata. Often these small crustaceans use salvaged shells, rocks, wood or sometimes even garbage to live in, but thanks to Inomata, they now have homes shaped to resemble famous places and architecture.
The crabs can now move to different cities from all over the world, and exchange homes, she says. Inomata uses 3D printing to make outer shells for the crabs. Her project, Why Not Hand Over A Shelter To Hermit Crabs, explores issues surrounding migration and national identity.
Hermit crabs, carrying a part from a different creature on their back, happen to be identified by their shells, rather than themselves. I thought this was similar to the fact that I am Japanese, but I could change my nationality to French, and so I aimed to incorporate these ideas into these pieces, said Inomata.
This is not the first time she used animals in her projects. One included clothes made for her dog out of her hair, and a coat for herself made from her dogs hair.