Okinawa Waters Channel 2001

Maejima Art Center March 27- April 1, 2001
Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts
June 26- July 15, 2001

Okinawa WaterArt Lesson
Maejima Art Center, Naha

Okinawa Water Channel

Look over the map of Asian region. You can recognize easily the fact that Okinawa is in nearer access to East Asia and Southeast Asia compared with the distance from Tokyo. When thinking of the “Culture based on Water” uniting most of Asian region, undoubtedly Okinawa must have important role.

Ichi Ikeda, whenever he has visited there, emphasized on importance of Water Art project in Okinawa. Fortunately some people of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, who got sympathized with his plan, organized the Okinawa Water Project. After having realized a series of lectures and symposium on water, they reached to hold the exhibition “Okinawa Water Art Channel” according to Ichi Ikeda’s plan. This exhibition aimed to create new collaborative movement beyond differences among various cultural activities and to activate potentials of new movement in Okinawa.

At first, in order to learn more about Okinawa Water, Ichi Ikeda paid attention to ‘invisible water’ existing under the ground. The stratum named Ryukyu Limestone forming the underground mainly in the Southern part of Okinawa and this specific layer is said to be suitable for storing water. And the stored underground water is emerging from the cracks on the ground and underground water has been used ordinarily in daily life through the well and the narrow water channel drawing water. Investigating deep connection between ‘invisible water’ and daily life, Ichi Ikeda set about expressing ‘invisible water’ flowing under feet of Okinawa people.

To magnify this invisible relation, Ichi Ikeda created the special device what he names “Water-Scope”.
----Seeing through three Water-Scope, people can read letters of ‘INDIVIDUAL’/ ‘NATION’/‘ EARTH’ behind respective waters. This is a kind of device people can imagine a flow of ‘invisible water’ in Okinawa through three viewpoints. In the gallery, the sound of water bubbling and water flowing is lasting. These waters will help them in fully realizing how important water is as the fundamental element in daily life and at the same time this installation can be more useful in associating connection between Life and Art.----(newspaper ”Ryukyu Shinpo” July 7, 2001)

Just before opening of Maejima Art Center, the center held Ichi Ikeda's exhibition and workshop. In addition to the gallery space, Ichi Ikeda decided to use a ruined kitchen room of Chinese restaurant. He gave a thorough cleaning to the large kitchen and transformed it into the space for the worksho and exhibition. Through his workshop, kitchen equipment changed into Water Art tools.
Okinawa Water Channel
Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, Naha
Looking in through 'Water-Scope" by turns, three important images appears over bubbling water.
Individual and Water
Nation and Water
Earth and Water
Which one do you take interest in now?
Memories on water or messages on water, hidden inner but worthy to talk to the next generation. Water sites where people hope to forward to the future. Hoping to encourage Okinawa people to find their own water site, Ichi Ikeda did his performance entitled “The First Supper for Water Senders” together with Okinawa people.

Waters in Big Hands of Water Senders shining with evening glow was suggestive of 'Water for the Future'.
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