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Inner Water

Noriko Ambe
The Warehouse Gallery, Syracuse University, NY
March 1 - May, 2012

Nature shows us a beauty that exceeds our imagination. On the other hand, it contains a strength that is sometimes frightening.
It has been a year since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami hit a quarter of the main Island of Japan on March 11, 2011.
The disaster took over 20,000 people’s lives and crippled the nuclear plant in Fukushima. We were helpless. Those events totally changed our sense of values, and everything else.

Since then, I have been thinking how we can contend with that terrible reality through art. Or, what exactly is the essence of the main theme that I have been working on for over ten years: “Flat Globe” or “Lands of Emptiness” -- trying to express that humans exist with nature and express the relationship among humans, time and nature. I realized it was necessary to rethink my theme.

This summer I visited the disaster area in Rikuzentakata, Japan; after that I visited the beach on Long Island. In both places I focused on or met the sea.
In Rikuzentakata, the colors on the mountains where the Tsumani had reached were divided into two completely different tones. I could see the water despite its having already receded.
On the beach in Long Island, observing the endless cycle of waves, I naturally tried to enter into a dialogue with it and to immerse myself in it.

As human beings, we can’t breathe in the sea, we will die. It surpasses us -- as though our bodies are “against” the sea and nature. But at the same time, using our imagination we can also synchronize with the sea when we try to listen to it inside our bodies, to awaken unconscious memories.

These kinds of repeating cycles in my mind cause me to reconnect to the sea and nature from a new standpoint. Now, I feel that I’m standing on the edge of the present moment.

As my installation, I was trying to use the negative space surrounding the paper pieces to express "invisible water" as a metaphor of unconsious realm, also use the slide projection images of the sea to express the repeating cycle and layered time.

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