mori - 鳥がいない
The Forest - No birds.

materials : leaves, woods, dead body.
period : 26/01/2012 - 06/02/2012
place : Komyoji-kaikan (AIR cafe 2nd floor) Onomichi-city, Hiroshima.

English is below.

地面が剥き出しのコンクリートの場所に自然を感じる人は少ないでしょう。ですがそこが枯れ葉で覆われてしまったらどうでしょうか。そこでまずは約6000リッターぶんの落ち葉を山から集めて来て床に敷き詰めました。等間隔に整然と並ぶ杉林を見て何の疑問も持たずに「自然が豊か」と言ってしまう現代人なら、角材を逆さまに吊るして木に見立てて並べてもそれを森のようだと感じてくれるのではないかと考え、次に角材を配置しました。それだけではちょっと味気ないなら、いただいてきた立派な木の切り株を置いて神々しさも演出してみましょう。仕上げに殺虫剤を焚いて虫を殺し、人間以外の外敵や生き物のいない空間にしてしまえば、人間にとって心地の良い森になったのではないでしょうか。そうして木や葉っぱといった人間が空間を認識するのに必要な記号的要素だけで作られた生物の一切いない森が このインスタレーション作品です。

This is an installation work that was shown in my first solo exhibition at the end of my second year of college. The theme is a forest without living things, which is comfortable for humans.
I have always felt deceived whenever I hear Japanese people who say they love nature because most of them think that man-made forests are natural forests, and talk about nature without realizing it. The real natural environment is not a comfortable place to live, as it is full of insects, wildlife, and other foreign enemies, and has not been maintained in a way that is convenient for humans. So I decided to push the deception even further.
Few people would feel natural in a place where the ground is bare concrete. But what if it were covered with dead leaves? The first thing I did was to collect about 6,000 liters of fallen leaves from the mountains and spread them on the floor. I thought that modern people, who look at an orderly cedar forest and call it "beautiful nature" without question, would feel that it was like a forest if I hung square lumber upside down and arranged it to look like a tree. If that's not enough to make it look like a forest, you can also place some fine tree stumps that I got from a tree to make it look more divine. To finish off the forest, insecticides were burned to kill insects, and the forest became a comfortable place for humans to live if it was free of foreign enemies and creatures other than humans. In this way, this installation work is a forest without any living things, created only with symbolic elements such as trees and leaves, which are necessary for humans to recognize space.
Many people came to the exhibition and said that it was a wonderful space. There were people who stood still for hours, people who listened to the sound of the dead leaves being stepped on, people who enjoyed the natural smell of the trees and dead leaves, and children who kept coming back to visit. I stayed in the exhibition hall for the entire duration of the exhibition and watched people's reactions closely. It seemed that I had succeeded in creating a forest free of creatures that would be comfortable for humans. A space that is free of foreign enemies and other unpleasant creatures, safe and comfortable, and interspersed with symbols that give a moderate sense of nature, is the ideal and comfortable space for humans, and it cannot exist outside of artificial space. We cannot live comfortably in a purely natural space, and for us to seek and protect nature must be an act of strong conflict and stress. If there is no conflict or stress, but on the contrary, a sense of comfort and ease, then it is a deception.

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(C) Akihiro Yamamoto All Rights Reserved.

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