Shibakawa River Reclamation Art Project
Shibakawa River+six sites in Kawaguchi city, Saitama, Japan
|works in progress 2004-2005|
|2004 Sep.-Dec. research works on Shibakawa River and workshop with the local communities
2005 Mar. 12 symposium on history & environment of Shibakawa River
round exhibitions in Kawaguchi city
|This long-term project, grappling with water pollution of Shibakawa river flowing in the center of the city, started from grasping flowless stream with both ends shut down as some kind of Water Box. We believe our experiences through Water Box project will certainly be very effective for Shibakawa Reclamation art project. We call this new viewpoint on environment "Water's-Eye".|
|Please visit details of the exhibition.|
|Watch 'water gates' shut down !|
|Water's-Eye/ Shibakawa Reclamation Art Project
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, Kawaguchišs 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 mainstream 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.
Last year when I developed "80,000 liters Water Box" project in Kawaguchi city, I noticed that this flowless river is like the water box with both ends shut down. Hoping to proceed Water Ekiden in more collaborated relations with local communities, I launched a art project entitled Water's-Eye to reclaim Shibakawa. Between two water gates shut down, there are 16 bridges across Shibakawa. In order to understand actual conditions of the river more accurately, I suggest to grasp a flowless stream between bridge and bridge as a water box. If based on this way of expression, Shibakawa is likened to a chain of 17 water boxes. To find a key to the pollution problem in Shabakawa, we can start to investigate each water box carefully in every nook and corner. Compared to Bird's-eye view with somewhat rough view looking down from the sky, Wateršs-eye must demand more accurate point of view in accompany with transformable nature of water.
|water in Shibakawa River getting more contaminated|
|Ichi Ikeda giving a lecture on actual situation of the Shibakawa River in the exhibition|
|Watch inflow from each drain with the Blue Card. You are just a water watcher!|