Decay is an important aspect of the Cherry Blossom season. The brief
blossoming, eventual fall and decay of the pink blooms is an annual reminder
of our fleeting existence on this earth. Shinichi Touda, a young installation
artist, has explored the theme of decay from a more earthy perspective.
Toudas art uses the action of water on earth to express the gradual processes
of the earths erosion. His installations continue a series of exhibitions
at the INAX Gallery featuring works with clay.
Touda begins by creating golf ball sized spheres of earth, which are then
hand-polished. They are suspended from a thin piece of fishing line so
they hang in the middle of a square aquarium filled with water. Slowly.
Almost too slowly to perceive, the clay balls disintegrate.
The dark, shiny clay balls, 'floating in the tanks, appear like the earth
viewed from outer space. Clinging to the earthballs, like the atmosphere
around the globe, are hundreds of tiny bubbles. They make the dark clay
spheres radiate the light and shine like pearls. The strange reflective
qualities of the water give the work a powerful radiance. Occasionally
bubbles eke out and fly to the surface. The air bubbles make the clay
appear to breathe underwater.
Over the course of the exhibition the clay spheres will continue to erode.
The same forces that have dramatically shaped the earth over millions
of years are rapidly disintegrating the clay.
Examples of past submersions are also on display Ð like archaeological
finds Ð in glass cabinets. These remainders of the clay balls are delicately
hollowed out. The outside of the clay is preserved a little longer in
the water due to it being polished. The inside is broken out when the
ball collapsed from its suspension.
There is an eerie silence about the work Ð watching something slowly deteriorate
-- and yet there is also a beauty about the decaying process. See them
while they last.