Proposal for the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial 2003
For the Echigo-Tsumari Region of Niigata Prefecture, Japan
An artwork that transforms into a snowplow to serve the farmers of western Japan after the art exhibition ends.
The Echigo-Tsumari Region of Southern Niigata Prefecture, Japan
Seasonal Sculpture will contribute to the Triennial project of placing international contemporary public art in a traditional rice farming region. This new artwork will fulfill the mission to provide aesthetic contemplation for people as they tour the region during the summer arts festival and give then new meaning to the term “action figure” in winter. As a conceptual art piece it will temporarily take the form of a traditional, figurative, sculpture during the arts festival then radically reconfigure into heavy equipment to serve the public after the festival is done.
Seasonal Sculpture is a work that is inspired by the several things from my visit to Japan: the traditional rice farmer, the transformer toys originally designed in Japan, and the mountain region itself.
Seasonal Sculpture will be a slightly abstracted representational sculpture of a traditional farmer, wearing traditional snow gear (masa, kino and harigatsu) seated in a huddled position during the summer arts festival. This homage to the farmer will be readily identifiable by the outline of his clothes and hat. During the massive snowfalls of winter that deeply affect the region, the sculpture will dramatically unfold (with gears and hydraulic pistons working), transforming itself to become a working, state-of-the-art, snowplow.
It will plow the snow, making paths for stranded farmers and carving out needed territories for art and industry to collaborate.