I’m in Sapporo this week exploring the 2014 Sapporo International Art Festival. The theme of this year’s city-wide art show is “Nature and City” and is curated by the great Ryuichi Sakamoto. I’m documenting a few of my favorite installations. The art festival runs from July 19 – September 28, 2014.
Japanese artist Takashi Kuribayashi staged his paper installation “Wald aus Wald,” German for Forest from Forest. The installation, which features a single room ensconced in a white forest made from washi paper, has traveled to museums around the world: Tokyo (in 2010), Singapore (in 2011) and, most recently, Germany (in 2013). But it has now returned to Japan where it’s on display at the Sapporo Art Museum. These photos, taken from the artist’s website, are from previous installations.
Visitors can experience the forest in two ways: from above or, more interestingly, from below, where they can walk under the lightweight paper and poke their heads out through crevices as if they were sprouting out of the ground themselves. “Peer out through a crevice at the world that lies above the ground,” says Kuribayashi “and observe the forest from an insect’s perspective.”
The white trees that appear to float in the gallery space have been molded by Artist from japanese larch trees in Yamagata, using Awa washi (handmade paper). Having taken on the from of trees, the washi, which is made from natural materials such as kozo(hybrid mulberry tree) and mitsumata(paper bush), has become a symbol of the ecology of our natural world.