Kana Otofuji - 2000 Project < back artKana.com
Shared Spirit and Human Existence in the Snow Country
This sculpture installation of resin, sound and light is to help people of today feel their community of spirit with their ancestors by sharing in the life of the snow country, people from 10th century B.C. Japan. I chose the image of the heart, because it is a universal symbol-common to people of any age.
The indigenous people of this area during the Jomon period developed a vigorous culture. Life was hard during the winter months with snow drifts growing as deep as they do in this region. As such the interior of their homes became the center of their family life and culture. They developed sake from cracked nuts, which they would communally share from a specialized vase. I intend for people to experience and better understand the ritualistic sharing of this moment. I designed this shelter in a manner similar in scale and construction to the homes of the Jomon period, utilizing their method of building the home partially beneath the surface level of the ground. I have, however, designed it in the shape of a human heart to better render the concept that the home was the heart of their culture, giving modern people a better intellectual and visceral understanding of it.
The center of the home was reserved for the hearth where cooking and warmth were generated. It is in this important location I will place a reproduction of their ritual sake vase with a cushioned seating area around it. "Straws" similar to ones from this period will project from this vase. However the straws ends will contain earphones-one for each audience member. When seated and wearing these earplugs each person will be able to hear and share in the recorded sound of a child's heartbeat.
Colored translucent portals will be built into the surface of the heart, so that light projected through them will be able to spotlight specialized locations at various times of the day. At these locations will be objects we ritualistically share in common during our daily routine. By integrating contemporary items from today (such as modern cup and toothbrush highlighted by light or a laminated picture of television news and a wine glass highlighted near sunset); our lives and theirs feel more the same.

Through these experiences the audience will feel the commonality of spirit they share with the peoples of the snow country.

Kana Otofuji

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