This installation was on show at an exhibition titled ‘WAVELENGTH: A Momentary Spring’ at Beijing Times Art Museum in China, as one of 14 installations by 14 artists and art groups.
This piece is based on Correspondence series created in various locations in different times. The new installation and Correspondence series are closely related but the former is not a mere recreation of the past pieces. They are very different in some respects, but at the same time, they share the essence.
The nature of the installation site for ‘Dialogue – Sphere’ is quite different from the past sites and the installation process was re-thought. A large number of people were involved in preparing materials, testing out various processes, and installing the final piece. The work, I hope, triggers dialogues in many levels. The piece was also an outcome of ‘dialogues’ between myself and people involved in making this installations possible.
Credit of the vide and all photographs on this page: WAVELENGTH Exhibition
ヨセテハカエス (yoseteha kaesu) is Japanese and that can be roughly translated as ‘coming towards and going away.’ It is often used to describe the endless movement of waves at a seashore.
On a small wooden table, there is a drinking glass half filled with water…
The installation was recorded as video and it was edited in a way that it can seen as an independent work. The film was shown during ‘Glass, Meet the Future Film Festival 2021’ at North Land Creative, UK.
Dove Cottage, Wordswoth Museum, Grasmere, Lake District, UK
This installation is a collaboration piece with a Belgium artist, Inge Panneels.
Created for a group show titled ‘Wordsworth and Basho：Walking Poets’, the piece took an inspiration from the poets’ literally work as well as their creative process.
Firstly small glass tiles, that bear images of the world map, were created in a glass studio. Then they were sent out to our friends and acquaintances across the world as a gift. Receivers were invited to write a word that means ‘a star’ in their native language on an enclosed Japanese paper disk and send it back to the museum.
Initially some 250 ‘stars’ were sent to the Wordsworth Museum, the venue of the show, which stands next to Wordsworth’s former residence Dove Cottage. They were installed in the museum to create a conceptual ‘Milky Way’, together with a glass panel that bears poems by Wordsworth and Basho, each referring to the Milky Way or stars.
Visitors of the show were also invited to participate by leaving their ‘stars’ on paper disks, therefore the Milky Way continues to grow for the duration of the show (May-Nov 2014). At the end of the show, there were some 450 stars contributed from various corners of the world.
View of the installation at the beginning of the show.
Following the success of the exhibition in the UK, the show traveled to Kakimori Bunko, Hyogo, Japan in 2016. The art work by contemporary artists were exhibited together with the original manuscripts of Basho and Wordsworth. This time the piece was shown as a video alongside with a glass panel.
<process of the project>
Glass maps were created in a glass studio.
They were wrapped with Japanese paper, then sealed with a stamp designed with initials of Panneels and Shirakura.
photo: Hiroyasu Fujimoto
Then they were sent out to our friends and acquaintances across the world together with an invitation letter to the project.
Stars were sent to the museum from around the world. Envelopes that delivered stars were also displayed in the museum during the exhibition.
if you are interested in seeing the video that shows how the glass maps were created, please click here.
Correspondence 2002 Pilchuck Glass School, Washington State, USA
Correspondence – Sphere 2008 Fine Arts Work Center, Massachusetts, USA
Correspondence – Passage 2014 Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, USA
I think of the world as an intricate cobweb.
Off-cuts mirror and plate glass were collected from local frame shops and hardware stores for those installations.
Those pieces are highly responsive to their environments. Their appearances differ depending on the weather and time of the day, and they ‘speak’ (in a manner of sounds and moving lights) in different ways as they respond to the movements of the air and to the sun light.
Their existence is ephemeral, as they are temporary installations and impossible transport.
Correspondence - Sphere (details)
Correspondence - Passage (2014)
View from a studio window at Vermont Studio Center
Japanese letters that mean ‘today, too’ were created with wire. They hang from one to the other from a ceiling, like a monkey chain. A Japanese letter「も」, that means ‘too’ or ‘also’, makes it possible to create a chain because of its form that resembles a hook. But when something changes even slightly and the word「も」is no longer applicable for a day, that day will become 「きょう」(today). Other days that were to be called 「きょうも」（a day as usual）are no longer possible to join the chain as the form of the word 「きょう」 does not allow for another to hang from it.
(Re-installed at Temporary Contemporary in Tokyo in 2013)
This installation consists of a small glass bowl that contains water and video projection.
From a distance, what an audience sees is a dancing light on a wall. That changes speed and colours every moment. As he walks close to it, he finds images moving inside of a bowl, slightly blurred as the image has a depth that equals to the depth of water. Two themes alternate, one is that of white feathers slowly rotate up towards you as if they are born in darkness and being released into the air. Another theme is people walking; it is a blurred image, but some might notice that it is an image of people crossing a large scramble crossing in Tokyo. Moving colours on the wall are created by each individuals happens to cross the street simultaneously by pure chance.
Water, to which some 60 percent of body weight is attributable.
Breaths of the glass blowers, which create the forms.
Container and contained.
Glassblowers blew air in to create forms in glass. Later portrait photos of blowers who blew air into each glass object were taken. One was a simple face shot. The other was with their glass objects that were filled with water, suggesting the relationship between the objects of their creation and their bodies.
Facial portraits of each blower were placed under glass objects their breadth created.Glass objects were filled with water. Due to the optical effect created by the solid mass of transparent objects, the looks of the faces changed depending on an audience’s viewpoint. Some said that it were as if eyes of the portraits had been following them.
This work was created during the International Glass Symposium 2012 at Nový Bor, Czech Republic, with support of Ave Clara (glass factory in Polevsko).
Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Fine Arts Work Center, Massachusetts, USA
This installation was a part of a solo exhibition titled ‘Paperwork’.
Paper for recycling, such as used photocopy paper and old magazines, was collected from the community and cut into small disks. Then they were strung together with a thin wire. The ‘line’, showing the variety in colours of paper, traveled through the gallery (from a window to a door), carrying information on each paper disk although they cannot be viewed.
After the show, the paper used for the piece was collected to be recycled.
Two pages from magazines on the wall are both showing stories of Presidents of USA (one a few decades prior to the other). Left-side paper weighs 0.115 ounces and right 0.035 before I cut out the circle.
Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Fine Arts Work Center, Massachusetts, USA
The piece was shown in a solo exhibition titled Ordinary Days, and was created during the residency at Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, USA.
The piece was inspired by the location – by its history as well as its surroundings. Provincetown is the first landing place of Pilgrim Fathers in 1620. While I was there, I often strolled on the beach and looked at the sea where their ship had traveled. In such moments, I sensed the repetition and continuity of days – after their ‘Day One’ up to my ‘today’ (here and now).
Piecing is similar to patchwork. It is small shirt-shaped cotton fabric pieces sewn together. It amounted some12 meters in length in total.
The fur coat, that is close to life size, is made of glass stringers. Video image of a woman in white walking back and forth was projected in the room, creating a reflection of light when the image overlapped with the fur. There are sounds of several females’ whispering voices. One continuously murmurs in Japanese, rest sporadically in English. The words whispered in English are related to typical fairy-tales such as ‘prince’, ‘princess’ and ‘happily-ever-after’.
Some 250 glass chairs are hung from a ceiling of a bed.
Each glass chair is different from one another. Some are crooked more than others, and they are all slightly different in size. It is as if to refer to the uniqueness of each human being who rests on the chair.