Sea of Assembly, 2019
Mixed media (glass bowl, water, one yen coins)
7 x 26 x 26 cm.

Wakamiya Shrine is a pocket of peaceful space downtown of Fukuoka Tenjin. Contrasting to the street bustling with storefronts, a stone passage directs the visitors pass between ancient fig trees to the well which visitors purify themselves before stepping into the inner court. The shrine is a small wooden building with the donation box and a jingle rope on the front where people come to pray and make a wish. On the right hand side is an empty wooden board, and under the board is where Sea of Assembly was installed.

Sea of Assembly is a work about how cultural context guides our interaction with new things in the familiar environment. It derived the miniature landscape aesthetic from Zen garden. The installation is a glass of bowl filled with water with 1 yen coins floating on the surface. The lightweight coins are minted from aluminium and the raw material values thusly more than its denomination. They look like tiny islands that float in the miniature ocean. Despite of the surprise, visitors are attracted to the installation and inspired to try placing another coin in the bowl without breaking the water surface. The act of doing so requires steady hands so it is both challenging and meditative so it is an experience in harmony with the shrine context. Consequently, a new interaction, a new ritual, are born from an alien object and the cultural background.

Images courtesy of the artist