Haruko Okano. ENVIRONMENTAL WORK | OUTDOOR 5
2011 art (IS) LAND exhibition
art (IS) LAND exhibition, 2011
September 8 – 18, 2011, Granville Island, Vancouver, BC
The Art Is Land Network (AILN) temporary land art works are installed on Granville Island,
working simultaneously under the theme of: the island as microcosm of the world.
AILN recognizes the First Nation Peoples who first occupied this fertile fishing ground, more
recent inhabitants engaged in boat building and other industries crucial to the Island today,
and those who come to explore the island and its wealth of recreational and cultural activities.
Mindful of site, local history and nature, AILN employs natural or re purposed materials in
pursuit of artwork responsive to its environment.
My part of this project was called Oceanflotilla. Through a series of 6 community workshops
in the city, I facilitated community members building paper boats made of biodegradable, ecofriendly
paper coated in kakishibu, a Japanese medium used to waterproof stencils for printing
patterns for kimonos. Kakishibu is an organic medium made from fermented bitter green persimmon
juice. In addition to the workshop I had a blogspot and on site container, created to invite the
world to send me their hopes for a healthier world in the next 100 years. Messages were
on rice paper. rolled up, placed in the paper boats and launched out to sea September 17,
on the outgoing tide. Volunteers joined in this public performance where each of the three
of us called out the boat’s number located inside the boat with the blogspot address. as they
were launched out to sea. The blogspot gave description of the project and requested that
any boat found could they please add that to the blogspot log book noting date and place it
was found. Over 500 people participated in 11 languages.
The other component of Oceanflotilla was Flotilla, installed near a marina. It was made
from organic found and selectively harvested materials and commercially available salt licks. A
time-based installation in the shape of a boat in for repairs. The boat acted as both a sun dial
and a setting for germination and dissolution. Inside the boat was a prone figure made of natural
fibre, embedded in the heart was soil impregnated with alfalfa seeds that sprouted over time.
Suspended above the foot of the figure, was a wood bowl. Inside the bowl were two fish carved
from a used salt lick. As it rained the fish dissolve to form salt water.
The prow of the boat becomes the needle of the sun dial that over the course of the day,
its shadow scanned across the phrase “History ebbs from here flows the future”.
To view the blogspot: http://oceanflotilla.blogspot.com