"Ougon no tori" is an installation project I realized for my residency at NIAV Nishiaizu International Art Village in Fukushima, Japan, 2018. It comprises a series of watercolour portraits, a mixed-media work, four short videos and text.
The prefecture of Fukushima suffered from the consequences of an earthquake which provoked a major nuclear accident. My project for the residency was to investigate the perception of the natural space, before and after the accident.
I am interested in understanding how far can the experience of reality be a socially constructed matter rather than an objective fact. I wanted my work to arise from the interactions with local people, therefore I interviewed locals, asking questions about personal experiences and perceptions related to the space and the environment of the area.
I translated the images that arose from these conversations into a symbolic map of the space. The central part of the installation is a mixed-media work on silicon, where I overlapped the images of the human cardiovascular system and the map of the region in order to highlight the similarities between body and territory. I placed footnotes on the map, on places that were meaningful to the people I interviewed. Each footnote refers to one watercolour portrait, and either one text or video.
The texts are written in Japanese, with white ink on transparent paper. They describe experiences, thoughts or memories related to the territory. The four videos are visual elaborations of those experiences.
On the ground, the image of the cardio-circulatory system, printed out in black and white, is placed as a compass pointing towards the north.
In the watercolor portraits, I added or subtracted one colour to my palette in order to make a visible distinction between who was living in Nishiaizu since before or after 2011. The addition of magenta color characterizes the former residents.
The fainting quality of the means relates to the impermanence and unpredictability of mankind and life.