Igarashi Yasuaki is a Japanese artist. His public art collaborates with local communities, connect local live with nature, and recreate new scene. One of his projects, “Dazaifu Tenmangu (Fukuoka)” drew my attention. He invites people to tidy the fallen leaves of camphor trees. By doing this, he connects memories of people with the land.
Because of his work, I realized the giant tree in our front yard is a camphor tree. One of my mini-projects, “leaves tracing,” was triggered by the annoyance of the vast amount of leaves fallen from this tree covering my small vegetable patch, which also made our place messy. This camphor tree’s branches and roots damaged the roof and pipes, caused different leaking problems. The landlord spent a lot of money to fix the problem, and the council just approved to chop the tree down. In Japan, the camphor tree is spiritual. People passed by very often clap their hands together twice and lean towards the tree with their hands pressed against the bark.
It is very easy to relate my art with culture and nature. This bring me back to Chris Drury’s text: The process of nature continues despite our analysis. Our analysis is a part of the process of nature. The process of nature must include the actions of man whether or not they are destructive.