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Handicap children's art / Orion

Centring around a tall forest tree, Katsushiko Azuma’s Small Festival is a site-specific assemblage work that uses both cut and natural wood. Colourful textiles are wrapped around small sections of the piece. Assembled together, each detail becomes a part of the next. Small Festival builds into the form of a sun. Tradition states that Japan was the first place in the world where people could see the sun rising. The Japanese empire was purportedly founded in 660 BC by Jimmu, a descendent of the sun goddess. The main support for this sun is the tree… the tree, producer of oxygen we need to preserve and maintain life, is a guardian and a support for human life as well. The presence and the essence of Azuma’s small festival is its sense of celebration of all things, man-made and natural… Arranged around the piece are plants, and a range of small gifts to this phenomenon in nature. The message is that festivals are happening all the time - invisibly - in microcosm and macrocosm in the ecological cycle of life.
The act of assembling, or producing installations on site, when contrasted with industrial production on a large scale could can be seen as unimportant because it can not be “measured” in economic terms. It is more part of the immeasurable culture that supports the economy of love and caring. This “love economy” involves  “healing”, and repair, reworking of existing materials. �And, from a biotechnical or ecological and social point of view, craft makes more sense than mass production. As the late historian Lewis Mumford has written: “What I would call democratic technics is the small scale method of production, resting mainly on human skill and animal energy but always, even when employing machines, remaining under the active direction of the craftsman or farmer... Authoritarian technics is designed to be determinative, to place power in the technological system itself. The ultimate end of this technics is to displace life, or rather, to transfer the attributes of life to the machine and the mechanical collective.” The experimental works created for Mount Tsukuba 2017 Artist in Residence program challenge how we view our relation to nature Mount Tsukuba… The intertwining of cultural and human with nature causes us to realize the incredible variety of ways we can respond to nature in all its variation. Nature is Art. Art is Energy. We are Nature

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John K. Grande

1. Lewis Mumford, “Authoritarian and Democratic Technics”, Technology and Culture} (Jan. 1964), pp. 2-6.

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