Shibakawa River Reclamation Project 2007-8
Water Flag Project
corresponding with World Environment Day

Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan

Hoist your Water Flag on World Environment Day!
World Environment Day

The theme of World Environment Day 2007 is Melting Ice- Hot Topic? In honor of the annual UN World Environment Day celebrations in June 2007, the Natural World Museum presented the exhibit, Envisioning Change, in parnership with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, and the Nobel PEACE center in Oslo.This innovative exhibition brought together 40 artists including Ichi Ikeda from around the world. The exhibiion explores such questions as "What is climate change?", "What are the political implications?", "How does sustainable development create a pathway to peace?" and "Why should we care?".The 40 artists and artworks provided insight ans answers to these questions. Ichi Ikeda created his artwork entitled "Moving Water Days" for the World Environment Day Exhibition "Envisioning Chamge". Correspomding with this exhibition in Oslo, Ichi Ikeda organized Water Flag Project as a programme of Moving Water Days in Kawaguchi city, Japan, during days of June.

Website of Natural World Museum:

Water Flag No.1 Watergates, Shibakawa River
June 24, 2007
Water Flag Project will be realized as the long-range plan in collaboration with community people, hoping to pro,ote deeper understanding on what to do now for reclamation of heavily polluted river.
demonstration of "Big Hands" on closed watergates
On the same month as the opening of the World Environment Day Exhibitio in Oslo, Ichi Ikeda hoisted what he calls 'Big Hands' on closed watergates in Shibakawa River, hoping to scoop up clean water from polluted river in the near future.
Size of the flag 'Big Hands': 3.5m x 4.5m
a flag 'Big Hands' hung up on Ryoke Watergate, completely closed, at the downstream of Shibakawa River

Water Flag No.2
art gallery
masuii R.D.R.
Kawaguchi, Saitama
January 16 - 27, 2008
showing plan of your Water Flag
Artists, artistic groups and studente were invited to participate in the indoor exhibition of Water Flag Project 2008. Invited artists and students were demanded to design the flags for hoisting on the watergate or bridge of Shibakawa River and to create a real flag or a sample of flag for display in the art gallery.

Through the exhibition, it is expected that local peoples will make applications for participation in the Water Flag Project on the watergate or bridge of Shibakawa River on June 8 corresponding with World Environment Day 2008.

Ichi Ikeda
Kamol Phaosavasdi
Choi Song-Gyu
Chihiro Aida
Tatsuro Kodama
Eco Link Association
students of Tokyo Korean School
Ichi Ikeda's
Water Flag
"Capillary Action"
The ends of three Water Flags "Capillary Action" are submerged under water of water tank with kinds of water plants. Through capillary action by cloth fiber in the flag, water will be expected to rise up from water tunk into the flat of hands.

Water Flag No.3
Aoki Watergate, Shibakawa River
June 8, 2008
hoisting your Water Flag on the watergate
Through a series of conservation works, the flow of Shibakawa River was changed partly into the newly constructed canal. As the result, the downstream of Shibakawa River with a length of 5.8 kilometers was cut off from the mainstream on 1965. And old Shibakawa River located in the center of the city became a flowless sewer polluted ditch. Since then,
Aoki Watergate on the uppersream of old Shibakwa River have been kept shutting down. We decided to collect Water Flags made by artists and citizens and to hoist them on closed Aoki Watergate, the major cause of a flowless poluted ditch.
Water Flag 'Big Hands' hung up on the Aoki Watergate located on the upperstream of old Shibakawa River
Aiming to dilute polluted water with another water from Tatekawa Stream, weak stream is flowing into old Shibakawa River. But, because of flowing waste water into the river at the same time, dirty and ill-smelling water tend to strength unfailiar relations with the river in people's mind.
Assembly of Water Flags on the watergate
During Ichi Ikeda's exhibition "Water Box Museum" in Kawaguchi City Art Gallery on January 2008, workshop for making Water Flags was held for schoolchildren under the direction of artist Choi Song-Gyu. And on June 8, 2008, scholchildren gathered to hoist Water Flags which they created by themselve in the workshop.
Through these continuous Water Flag Projects, we are aiming to create collaborative partnership with local people and organizations including administrative office and to promote their voluntary action for reclamation of polluted Shibakawa River.