Authors: Yoko Iwasaki and Takumi Tsukahara
The theme of this performance is "The Moon above a Japanese mountain" across time and space. "Sarashina Kiko" is a book written in 1687 by Basho Matsuo, a famous "Haiku composer" (Haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables).
Deep inside the mountains in Nagano he sought to see the moon, and wrote some short poems and texts during this trip, creating "Sarashina Kiko".
Our artwork aims to induce a "Natsukashi" (nostalgic) feeling evoked by the Moon, which is unchanging in time and can be related to by people from different places.
The setting of our artwork is very simple with a big screen installed on the wall in a darkened room and a recurring movie of the Moon projected upon it. Opposite the screen on the other side of the room there is a chair upon which the viewer can sit and use the headphones to listening to the sound of our/Basho’s footsteps walking along the dark mountain path in pursuit of the Moon. A sense of the smell of the mountain pervades the space from a hidden olfactory source.
Beside the chair there is a small desk upon which sits a handmade book of contemporary poems written by Takumi Tsukahara that relate to Basho’s original poetry. This small book is made in a way that is traditional in Japan and within it there are the poems and monochrome photographs of the mountain.
In addition to this artwork, Yoko Iwasaki organized the performance titled "Sarashina". In the dark room in front of the Moon projected onto the screen performers read several phrases related to the Moon; poems and extracts from novels in English, Korean, French, and Japanese.
This reading performance is intermittent and whispered, in keeping with traditional Japanese aesthetics; reflecting a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and an absence of self-nature. Being read in several languages these poems about the Moon and their performance are intended to bring the viewer to a dream world across time and space.