- toshihiro komatsu home Archipelago アーキペラゴ
- Works 2014
"ISLAND VIEW Why artists focus on islands" Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Tokyo Wonder Site

seawater sampled from Seto Inland Sea, glass canisters
dimensions vary with installation

「島からのまなざし なぜ今、アーティストは島へ向かうのか」東京都美術館
公益財団法人東京都歴史文化財団 トーキョーワンダーサイト

I have been collecting natural manifestations of water such as river/lake/sea water or snowmelt, to create a number of artworks examining water as a foundation of human activity. In the summer of 2013, I stayed and worked on Takamijima, a remote island in the Seto Inland Sea with a population of less than 40. To live on an island means to live in the sea, and to be able to overlook the sea as soon as one steps out of one's front door. The local fishermen living here state the fact that they "can judge the condition of the sea just by looking out of the window" as a reason for staying on the island. While imagining the island people and their lives with and surrounded by the sea, I went down to Takamijima's piers each day to collect seawater in little glass bottles. While the sea is something one usually looks at from a distance, putting seawater into bottles allowed me to take a closer look and observe both the water's degree of clarity and impurity. Depending on the tide, water collected at the same location was sometimes clear and sometimes muddy, and in some cases contained algae or plankton. Under the influence of sunlight and heat, the water in my bottles changes gradually day by day. The items in my new installation are arranged to look like an archipelago, whereas I used bottles of different sizes that I stacked up in an intricate fashion. The scenery of scattered islands made by piling up bottles filled with seawater is reminiscent of the island-studded Setouchi landscape. Where there is no water, there is no human activity. My intention was to direct people's attention to the water of the sea, and change their perception of this place by looking at it through the island-shaped "lens" of the pile of clear Seto Inland Sea water. This work, made of seawater, pays homage to the Seto Inland Sea and its myriad islands.