Reverberation

 

The proposed artwork consists of a compressed cube of stainless steel, which contains in its core a structure safeguarding an “オルゴール” (orugoru) or music box. This music box will be playing the song “七つの子” (nanatsu no ko), one of the few Japanese kid’s songs from the artist’s childhood. The steel is obtained from old disposed Japanese bathtubs where people take their “お風呂” (ofuro), proper expression for the Japanese ritual of bathing. The bathtub is filled with hot water and it is not meant for washing but rather for relaxing and warming oneself. It was the custom to share the same water with more than one member of the family, therefore for the Japanese is was very important to wash themselves completely before entering the bath. Nowadays, these old steel bathtubs are being replaced.

The ofuro is taken as a symbolic representation of what seems to be people’s disposable identity, as it plays a role during the washing/bathing ritual where they make water wash away the weight of the shallow layers of their routinely selves. The artwork then opens a discourse around how experiences that define people’s identities appear to become dispensable, when eventually they are turned into a perfectly compressed mass, transformed by tons of pressure and force. The “one” becomes part of the “whole,” it turns into a bigger volume that makes the particular unrecognizable anymore, conducing this “one” to lose its own identity.

An echo in its center remains as the reverberation of its past existence. The song of the music box represents that echo of an early infancy stage, where individuality could still be achieved, before losing itself into a monotonous society.