Baikaouren Lamps

Commission work for public space (2021 Sakawa, JP)
These pendant lamps were inspired by an unassuming sight that takes place silently year after year in the same season in the forest: the blooming of the pretty flowers of the five-leaved goldthread (Coptis quinquefolia) and the bearing of its mysterious fruits. Sakawa-cho of Kochi Prefecture, where my artistic activities are based, is also the birthplace of Dr. Tomitaro Makino, the father of Japanese botany. The five-leaved goldthread is said to have been Dr. Makino's favorite flower during his lifetime. Its pretty white flowers bloom across the floor of Sakawa-cho's coniferous forests at the end of winter, reflecting the light filtering through the forest and suffusing the entire area with a beautiful glow. As spring arrives, around a dozen fruits shaped like little boats radiate from the center of the flower's stem, scattering countless small, mysterious geometrical objects all over the ground. Like Dr. Makino, the local residents take good care of this tiny flower, and many of them are engaged in conservation efforts to protect the forests where the five-leaved goldthread grows. I created this work after being commissioned to design lighting equipment for a new facility that will be built in Sakawa-cho.