The Dolls House Gallery Project ‘Transposing Scales’


Every single being on earth has a different scale of living – this obvious fact is easily tamed by the myth of ‘everyday life’ that perpetually orchestrates the seamlessness of our perception. However, when you actually live with other life forms, such as animals, insects, plants, or even, with people from other cultures, you might become aware that your sense of space and perception do not coincide with what others have. Space is a phenomenon that is biologically, culturally and ideologically molded, different from creature to creature, from culture to culture, and from age to age. When we move away from one scale of living to another, we lose the ground for identifying who we are, and can be mesmerised by the dizziness of disorientation. From a microscopic observation of the invisible, minute life/non-life of bacteria, viruses and genetic agents, to macroscopic representation of universe, we are driven by the urge to transpose scales and re-narrate what we are. Scale is an essential tool with which to observe and frame the world.


Coinciding with the development of science technology, art, particularly since the emergence of the avant-gardes at the beginning of the 20th century, has also worked on displacing and transgressing perceptual boundaries and limits by manipulating scales, either in psychological, physical, spatial, material, economical or cultural domains.

Here we present a dolls house for exploring the theme of scale. A dolls house, in the Western context, has been a place of desire which served for the 18th century wealthy matrons to show an idealised representation of their domestic furnishing, for children to mimic household or play with their imaginary world, or more recently, for collectors to assemble items. By representing the domestic life in a miniscule scale, we desire a space graspable in hand, visualising the ecology of household with our estranged eyes.


In this project, we are looking to redefine the nature of a dolls house as a place of desire for imagining and observing the world, and so transcend the capacity of our perception. It provides an opportunity to disrupt our canonised scale of perception and to take a playful look at the spaces we occupy physically, mentally and emotionally, thereby transposing the story of the human into something else.



Exhibitions - Season 1

#1   Emily Lazerwitz, 'Micronation' (15/03/2016-22/03/2016)

#2   Sarah Fortais, 'Sarah Fortais' Somewhere Space Program' (26/04/2016-03/05/2016)

#3   Se Hee Kang, Hyojoo Lee, Hiroko Nakajima, 'take a portion of your dream, see it

       under a microscope' (05/05/2016-12/05/2016)

#4   Seunghee Lee (10/05/2016 - 12/05/2016) 

Exhibitions - Season 2

#5  Michelle Lewis-King (29/11/2016-16/12/2016)

#6  Tasos Stamou (10/01/2017-31/01/2017)

#7  Pablo Padilla Jargstorf (07/02/2017-28/02/2017)



*The Dolls House Gallery, run by Prof. Edward Allington and Dr. Michiko Oki, is located in the Beadle’s Box in the Slade’s Foyer. For any inquiries please write to Michiko Oki:

The Dolls House Gallery for Season 1
The Dolls House Gallery for Season 2
(designed and built by Pablo Padilla Jargstorf)

Text © 2015 Michiko Oki
Illustration © 2015 Pablo Padilla Jargstorf