Friday, July 9, 2010

hair river waterfall

I've been working on a 7-meter long drawing of hair on a roll of tracing paper -- something I've had in the back of my mind since I got here. I had the idea that I could hang it out the window of my third-floor apartment, toward the river below.

As I worked on it, lots of interesting associations began to arise - its connection to the flowing water of the river itself, or to a waterfall, connecting the body with the river, and also with the architecture of the building. Of course there are some obvious associations to the western fairy tale, Rapunzel, too. As I worked, my fellow artists at BankART began to point out out associations to Japanese history and folklore - most notably the tale of Genji and the very long, black hair of the Heian period, and the ropes of human hair used to make the Higashi-Hongan-ji temple in Kyoto (which I hope to visit in a couple of weeks)... not to mention how long black hair is commonly used to creep people out in Japanese horror films and manga.

The site-specific launch of the drawing was a little wilder than I'd planned, as I had not factored in the effects of summer breezes on seven meters of tracing paper. It's sturdy stuff, though, and caught the wind beautifully, giving us a range of interesting shots and a crackly, strange surprise for passers-by below.

1 comment: