TOKYO BAY PROJECT
Sponsored by the Maki Gallery in Tokyo, Hashimoto participated in this outdoor sculpture exhibition situated on a natural beach area at the mouth of Tokyo Bay on the Pacific Ocean. Grounded in an ethos that focuses on interrelationships, Hashimoto drew upon the cross-cultural, political, and historical aspects of this site while building an installation incorporating the historic architecture and natural plant materials at the location. At the site were two structures which were World War II Japanese military embankments used during war time as lookouts to guard against an American invasion of the Japanese capitol. These former military structures had, more recently, become a local dumping ground filled with trash and graffiti. Hashimoto, a bi-lingual foreign resident in Japan at the time, conscious of her foreign/American status, created a sanctuary to examine the issues of conciliation in a place initially created for hostilities, more recently used as a container for the discarded. At that time, the artist had recently returned from a two-month residency at a traditional pottery village in northeast Thailand. The visions of the wandering monks draped in saffron-colored robes, and the sparse, clean sanctuaries of the Thai countryside were fresh in her mind and set the tone for this work. The two-day building of the installation was fashioned as a performance, influenced by her studies in butoh, created rituals of clearing, cleaning, and burning. Dressed like a terrorist/transient, she negotiated friendship. The locals, stopped by on their way to collect seaweed on the beach, watched her work, and shared their stories of the site. When they returned on day two, they removed their shoes before entering the installation.
Photos: Yoshi Hashimoto