Project for Tsumari Art Triennal 2000/03

In 2000 there was the first international art triennial in Tsumari District made up of seven towns and cities including Kawanishi Town. When the director Fram Kitagawa of Art Front Gallery invited me to contribute a project for this land based art event we have set out initial agendas. Make a project that requires links between 7 towns and cities of Tsumari District. To make art works in a form of documentary. It requires local participations. The idea quickly evolved into three stages of project.

One: making object that will register climate and aspects of the places.
Two: using the object as a tool (vehicle) to communicate with various participants including local residents in a form of workshop.
Three: making installation work that documents the transformation of objects as well as events of communication.
The proposal in short, required the fabrication of large camera vehicle that captures aspects of landscape and people who live with it. The size was meant be over-sized so that a person can go inside. Metaphorically it should work as Eupkecha, wooden beetle made with traditional farm house details, travel across villages of Tsumari every three years. Camera size was articulated by proportional relationship between objects, the size of the picture plane, the diameter of aperture and the distance between them. In result it required 15-30min exposure time in day light condition. And direct print (imprint) size is 1.5×1.5 metre square on the 5mm toughen glass pane coated with photo emulsion. We call this wooden beetle a Slow Box and what it produces is a series of Afterimage by eating light and consume through photosynthetic process. With a help of Shuji Mizukami, Asao Tokoro, This Slow Box was constructed by us borrowing the wood storage of Igawa Corporation in Kawanishi and the materials were donated by Maeda Corporation. The route for the journey was planned by us asking each town to recommend their most beautiful village/community in difficult location for us to reach. 7 villages showed their interest to collaborate namely, Takakura, Takizawa, Kurokura, Kettou, Seitayama, Funasaka and Koshirakura.

Documentary of documenting.
The workshop was organized in a form of a tour 3-4 days in each village.
We have decided to make Koshirakura as our base where we would return occasionally for developing large negatives on glass pane. The journey workshop was planned to start early July and finish at the beginning of August in order to coincide with regular Landscape workshop in Koshirakura that would start from 14th August.
Taking photograph became ritualistic form of communication that requires no complex explanations. Just like us as ordinary tourists asking permissions for taking or been taken pictures in different countries for holiday snapshot. A difference is obviously the size of the camera. It had to be big enough to be taken seriously.

Art director: Fram Kitagawa (Art Front Gallery)
Art works: Shin Egashira.
Coordinator: Naohisa Yabuta, (Art Front Gallery)