Academic journal article Cultural Studies Review

Elixir

Academic journal article Cultural Studies Review

Elixir

Article excerpt

The Echigo Tsumari Triennale is a visionary project under the directorship of Fram Kitagawa and Art Front. It is regarded as the major event in the Japanese contemporary art calendar while at the same time managing to involve the local community to realise and then maintain the projects.

The Triennial has commissioned project artists such as Christian Boltanski, Magdalena Jetelova and Yayoi Kasuma. Architectural projects have also been commissioned including MRDVs No Butai Cultural Centre-a white building that disappears in the deep winter snow-and Takaharu and Yui Tezuka's Museum of Natural Science built from red rust cor-ten steel and bunkered into the landscape.

Elixir is a site-specific permanent artwork that forms part of the 'necklace' of art, architectural and landscape projects that are transforming a mountainous traditional rice-farming community and its spectacular landscape with its radical seasonal changes in Echigo Tsumari, Nigata Prefecture, Japan.

The Elixir house is a small, restored, traditional wooden storage-house. The interior of the dark wooden house is transformed into a laboratory-like space evoking an old apothecary and a botanical museum. It is an experiential space that immerses one in the essence of the surrounding landscape.

The wooden interior room of Elixir is lined and layered with glass veils stained with plant fluids, and inscribed with the plant names, botanical drawings and medicinal remedies from the surrounding environment (sourced from ancient books and individuals within the region). …

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