Expansion of Earth Drawing
Water Mandala
Tennokawa River + Misenkawa River, Nara, Japan
Installation/ Sep.25- Oct.30, 1993 Performance/ Oct.30, 1993

At Tenkawa-mura, the entrance to Mt.Omine's mountain retreat, stands one of Japan's major Goddess of Fortune, Tenkawa Daibenzaiten Shrine.
In recent years it has become one of the few special psychic oases to gain and enrich one's cosmic consciousness. It attracts many artists and musicians nationally and abroad.
On the day of Full Moon,
when the earth, moon and sun
form a virtual straight line,
where water's energy emerges
with strength,
12 Waters,
having 47 canvases in each water,
were installed on the meeting
of two rivers,
Tennokawa River
(a River of the Heavens)
and Misenkawa River.

The canvases inside the earth
have gone in contact with
rain water and river currents
for 40 days.
Events with in earth
directly leave their vestiges
on the canvases beneath 12 waters.

under construction of Water Mandala at the meeting of Tennokawa River and Misenkawa river
From this sacred site under the heavens arises Water Mandala, a fusion of nature and man.
From where did these books come?
------Register water's dense energy.

By whose hand was Book of Water written?
------Rain water, river currents, natural shifts in the soil,
organisms, plants, mother nature

What is read from Book of Water?
-------The earth's breathing.
Flowing Collaboration
Dominique Gw Mazeaud
Artist/curator, Santa Fe

I first heard Ichi Ikedaıs name in 1988 through The Franklin Furnace in New York. Since I was writing an article on artists involved with water at the time, I was most intrigued to hear of an artist ³whose medium was water.² The work of the dozen artists (including Ichi) I covered in the article revealed a strong connection of art and life. Leaving behind the art for artıs sake phenomenon of the Postmodern scene, artists now do art for earthıs sake. New earth poets, they are answering the call of the endangered earth itself.
My own story with water began in 1987 as I embarked on my ritual/performance ³The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande River² which took me to the river on the 17th day of every month for over five years. A regular exchange of correspondence between Ichi and myself began in early 1989. As different as the expression of our water poetics may be, there are strong commonalties in the spirit guiding our work. I have been inspired by his language for describing this ineffable experience.
We found that water, ³the eyes of the earth.²(*) is aliving being. Often, we witnessed the waterıs direct response to our actions. In Ichiıs words, ³through the mechanics of performance, we unbind the respiratory system of the earth.²
As we ³art² our water works, we value the silence charged with meaning. We hope that our performances will release memories of a past, deeper connection with nature. Deeply hidden in the recesses of our psyches, these memories are instrumental for our future. The fluid songs will rekindle the primitive desire of human beings for true existence.
We both regard society as a live human environment in action, we donıt separate from it. In this way we see the spectator as an active individual who gives some kind of reaction through the act of seeing. Conscious of the constant relationship of waterıs components, we are striving to understand all relationships, both thinking on a global scale. As we deepen our knowledge of water, we understand it is a common language that could be understood by anyone.
Our work is in the act; performance is too theatrical a term. Aware of waterıs intrinsic nature, we feel ourselves changing every moment. Water is challenging us to be fully present in each moment. Water, our teacher, shows us the eternal mutability of life. It teaches us to let go of rigid forms, be art or life, not to fear change, and respect the power of natureıs plan.
"Water is my medium for moving the borders, in everyday customs, histories, various cultures and so forth,simplifying to a profound exchange between human being and human being."
These words by Ichi could be mine. Water has set up the ground for what I believe will be a very fruitful, flowing collaboration.
-August 27, 1993--

After each 47 canvases were buried insides 12 holes. their holes were covered with stones and soils by next full moon.
performance for excavating 12 volumes of "Book of Water" in collaboration with Dominique Mazeaud, American artist
size/ diameter:8 meters
depth: 0.5 meters
medium/ canvases, copper plates,
vinyl chloride sheets,
water(river & rain)