Mirror of Soil

This installation focuses on the relationship with the ecosystem of the rural Japanese landscape. Mirror of Soil, part of the Ichihara Art Mix is located in mountain foothills and cropland in the Chiba region and questions the relationship with this landscape by putting the earth at the center. A unique ecosystem - called satoyama - has been under pressure in recent decades due to the scaling up of mass production fields for crops and or transformation to industrial areas.

The project was inspired by the Dutch concept of landscape pain. This concept describes the emotional and physical pain people experience when seeing highly industrialized areas and mass-produced fields. These developments lead to disappearing traditions and ecosystems, abandoned villages, and a sharp decline in biodiversity.

Following a path through a rice field, you arrive at the installation made of local earth. A 100m2 platform contains a sound mirror that points upward and makes the sounds of the surrounding landscape audible to the visitor at once.

The project attempts to dwell on and listen to this unique landscape and its future use. By focusing on the most precious local land, it mirrors the state of and the search for new relationships with this unique landscape.

Japanese filmmaker Akimi Ota is currently working on a short documentary focusing on three perspectives; a former industry worker and volunteer at Ichihara Art Mix, a local Buddhist monk, and historian, and a professor of ecology and expert satoyama, in relation to this landscape and the installation.
Release in spring 2023.

Mirror of Soil was part of The Ichihara Art x Mix 2020 fusing various resources of the region such as the history, culture, nature, human life, food, and sports activities of Ichihara City with contemporary art to increase the vitality of Satoyama. It is the new form of an art festival that rediscovers the more fascinating “Ichihara”.