Awashima is a very small island in the Seto inland sea, Kagawa prefecture. As most of these litle islands here, also Awashima is sufffering from the departing to the mainland of most of the young population. Tradition and culture too are disapering with the elders. But who still remain is strong and open minded. Thanks to them they start to invite artists to help keeping this great fortunes that are tradition, culture and nature.
My project has been realized in two very different form with the comune concept: create new situations using what there is already on the island and giving back to the islanders and their guest.
the "Akiya and The Shell project"
the Akiya project has the goal to restore and reuse this abandoned house as spot for tourist, hikers and pilgrims where to rest and admired the beatiful view on the sea.
In the garden of the restyled old house I installed this huge sculpture (3m in diameter, 9m in legth) made of bamboo.
The shape of a shell was chosen for a symbolic reason as well as for a practical one, infact the shell it used as a kind of compos for keep clean and nice the garden.
A tsukumogami is a kind of spirit or goblin, in a japanese folklore came to life after 100 years in forgotten man tools. Can be anything from a tea cup to an hammer or an umbrella whoknows.
It is said that the nature of a Tsukogami will be as it was the nature of his owner, so if the man was a good man the tsukumogami will be good otherwise....
I collect all scraps and unwanted objects from all the islanders and with that I did my own Tsukumogami.
after a whole week looking for any sort unwanted and forgotten stuff I couldn't find as much scrap as I expected.... as a matter of fact most of the iron has been bought for the Beijin Olympics few years back. But no matter, with few days left before the ending of the program I manage to put together this funny chatacter a kind of mechanical crab.
With the same idea of my character I held this workshop leting use just old tools collected around.
The very last workshop held
together with the other artist
even if almost improvised the result has been so nice and funny and we were very happy see everybody deeply involved in their drawings and in creating stories.
Four whole months doing own art.... just great!! but it wasn't just this!!!
beside have free hand on whatever I was going to do ( well, almost!) the support of any islander was always there! every one ready to help as they could even if it was just an ice cream in the hot and umid japanese summer. there are some situations where there is no need of too many words, sometimes happen that we are just connected.
A great thanks to any and each Awashima islander!!!