Akiyoshidai

Three sites were explored on a residency at the Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Yamaguchi prefecture in Japan from October 2nd to 29th 2016. The selection of places was made through collating results from a survey of the local community. Seasonally specific sights and sounds, personal significance through long term experience and popular preferences of the local people were taken into consideration. Additionally, a sound installation was created using recordings made in the vicinity of AIAV. This installation was used during a public workshop for the local community where participants were encouraged to respond to sound through drawing.

 
 
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みとうの川 (MITO RIVER)

Mito river cups the town in a C shape and forms a major water source feeding the farmlands and rice fields which support the town. The river is reinforced by manmade embankments, a system devised to control the flow of copious amounts of rainfall and high levels of precipitation from the mountains which surround the town.

I am focusing on a section which has been specifically modified to be a recreation site. It is located behind the town's main supermarket and public facility centre which serves tourists on their way to Akiyoshidai.



Karst Plateau - 剣山 Sword Mountain

The Akiyoshidai limestone karst plateau is a landscape shaped by human hands. Once heavily forested in the distant past, the tall Autumn grass on this plateau is burnt in a ceremony each Winter to reveal the limestone pinnacles which make this place so appealing. Under this thin layer of rock and grass is an immense 10km cave system formed by eons of rain water seeping through the surface. Walking the trails between tall corridors of Japanese pampas grass, one walks through a thin membrane between earth and sky.


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長者ヶ森 Choujaga Forest

Choujaga Forest is the final remnant of primeval forest on this plateau. As the starting point for many trail routes, this site was a popular place for hikers to congregate, however, few venture into its shady sanctum. There are numerous historical myths connected to this site and the dim atmosphere is punctuated by shrill cries of small birds and harsh barks of crows. However sacred this place may feel, one is constantly reminded of the proximity of civilisation by the sounds of cars on the road and aeroplanes overhead.



秋吉台国際芸術村 AIAV

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