Water Box of Art & Environment
Water Trust 2006

Shibakawa River + KAWAGUCHI ART FACTORY
Kawaguchi city, Saitamsa prefecture, japan

closed watergate at the end of lower stream of Shibakawa River
Water Problem in Shibakawa River

Kawaguchi has a longstanding manufacturing history. Its foundries hearken back to traditional craftsmanship and the city still retains a feeling of old Edo in its traditional rows of houses along the old Nikko highway. At the same time, KawaguchiÕs cityscape continues to evolve along modern lines. Kawaguchi looks like the epitome of both old and new Japan.

Shibakawa, flowing across the streets of Kawaguchi, used to have a close connection to the citizen life. While iron foundries were prosperous, Shibakawa was busily utilized as the route to transport raw materials and products. On the other hand, the residents along the river had been bothered by the floods occurring because of the low grounds. And, through a series of river conversation works, the flow of Shibakawa was changed partly into the newly constructed canal. As the result, the downstream of Shibakawa with a length of about 5.8 kilometers was cut off from the main-stream on 1965. Both water gates, standing at the upper side and at the lower side, have been kept shut down. After that the flood problem seem to be almost solved, but the serious problem of polluted water occurred. This part of river flowing in the center of the city is a area crowded by houses and various kinds of factories.Flowing waste water into the river caused to accelerate water pollution of Shibakawa. And Shibakawa became a flowless sewer polluted ditch.


Imagine bridge full with creative flow in a water box.

Now several sites of dry riverbed are under construction with the object of helping the local people to live close to the river. However dirty and ill-smelling water tend to strength unfamiliar relations with the river in their minds. Actually many local people werenÕt aware of the fact that both ends of Shibakawa keep shut down. What is more important for the local communities must be not construction of the riverside but raising consciousness of Shibakawa and its environment and culture. Aiming to achieve reclamation of Shibakawa, we work together with the local communities to share the assumption that the river is not some gift given by the administrative organ but is whatÕs created by the local people themselves.
outside installation:
Waterr Trust appealing the right of residence
Shibakawa River, Kawaguchi, Saitama
inside installation:
Water Trust demanding
clean water

KAWAGUCHI ART FACTORY,
Saitama
11/17- 12/3, 2006
September 4, 2006
Sludge rising from the bottom of the river clung to the 80 liters Water Box under the surface of water. Where is clean water?
I will make every effort to do, not 'future for art', but 'art for future'.
For me, what 'Art for Future' aim means to create fundamental right for those living on more disturbed global environment than today.

Water Trust Conference
in Shibakawa River
This installation space used to be a room with a blast furnace in the foundry. Now twenty water boxes with photo of 'Water Sender's Hand' are installed there. They seem to be on the stand-by for the time when water of the Shibakawa River will become cleaner.
On the assumption that we, as global citizens, must fulfill our duty to contribute greatly towards an ecologically sustainable future, IÕd like to stress the importance of creating our fundamental right on global environment counterbalancing our duty. In case that we meet with some contaminated environment on the earth, imagine that we must live with this severe environment as far as we are residents existing as global citizens or earth people. This must be a kind of fundamental right of residence corresponding with our duty to keep an ecologically sustainable earth. Aiming to establish this 'right of residence' on the earth, I believe, the following prerequisite has to be approved.

*All natural environment on the earth should be recognized as the 'global public property' beyond differences of limited environmental standards enacted by respective districts and nations.
*We who are living today need to take charge of natural resources which should be reserved for succeeding generations living on the future earth.
* We are always in process of keeping water which ought to hand over those who are suffering from shortage of water.

When I have been troubled with serious problem of Shibakawa River, I fully realized necessity of developing this environmental right as the Water Trust activity. Water Trust 2006 in Shibakawa River is our first stage.
December 17, 2006
Demanding reclamation of the Shibakawa River, we sunk two groups of Water Boxes insisting on necessity of Water Trust in Shibakawa.
Water in round copper vessel frequently bubbles as if it draws a long sigh.
A Water Box in the back of the space holds monitor-TV presenting pictures of "Water Box " actually sunk in the Shibakawa River.
Dirty water with sludge exists among water boxes. Each water box insists on co-existence between water and human life. This must be just a Water Trust Conference.

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