Cloud Island I, Project for the Venice Architecture Biennale

2010

colour, surround
2 channel
2 HD projectors, 2 media players, double-sided white projection screen 2.0 x  1,1 m

Cloud Island I, Project for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010 will be the first artproject of the Benesse Foundation to concentrate specifically on the inhabitants of the Seto Islands. Past projects and the artworks on display in the Naoshima musea deal with the relationship between man and natural landscape. The architecture of Sejima and Nishizawa on Inujima and Teshima provide me with a unique opportunity to deal with the changing human landscape.  As I film the village and its inhabitants this new and beautiful architecture be naturally present itself, in a self-explanatory way, embedded as it is in the village and island landscape.
The islands themselves wear on their skin the marks and scars of history. The small island of Inujima is, in a nutshell, exemplary for the history of industrialisation in Japan during the last 400 years. The old granite quarries, often filled with water now, are a permanent reminder of the days when the famous Inujima stone was taken from this island for the building of famous castles in Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere. And the ruins of the copper refinery bear testimony to the success story of the rise of industry and the modernisation of the Japanese economy in the late nineteenth century.

Now with the local population on the smaller islands steadily depleting, this project comes at a crucial moment in time. My filming will concentrate on the current situation at a moment of change. Filming took place just as the first four buildings from Kazuyo Sejima were reaching completion. But the work will refer to the past history and the social and economical changes I have briefly mentioned. This work will contain no interviews, nor spoken word.
The screen on one side shows a projection of the two islands from a bird's eye point of view. The geography of the islands and the layout and positioning of the new architecture  projects becomes clear here. On the other side the screen shows footage filmed in and around the village of Inujima. The montage of this side shows an impression of the current situation. We see several islanders as they go about their daily life. Shots portray the people who live here now, for the most part elderly, but all of them active and hardworking.

Filmed on location on Inujima and Teshima, Japan

Credits

Commissioned by the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation

Funded by Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation and Wako Works of Art, Tokyo

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