Light and prisms for an installation by Hakuten Creative in Sarushima

Hakuten Creative,

Kim Dong-Gyu,

Sarushima, Japan,


Event, Landscaping,

Japanese studio Hakuten Creative created an installation based on the use of prisms for an art event held on Sarushima, an island used by the military until World War II. The project preserves memories of the past through various expressions of art and design to prevent them from being forgotten.

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Light and prisms for an installation by Hakuten Creative in Sarushima
The future needs remembrance: not forgetting history and learning from the mistakes of the past are essential keys to building a better future. This is the message of the artistic installation prism, created by the Japanese studio Hakuten Creative, which has been active for over fifty years in creativity, from design to visual communication. prism is part of the event “Sense Island Sarushima Dark Museum 2021”, begun in 2019 with the aim of bringing the island and its nature to life through the works of various artists invited as catalysts for attention.
Sarushima Island is located in Tokyo Bay, just two kilometres off the coast of Yokosuka, and can be reached in 15 minutes by ferry. There are still remnants of the past here, such as a gun battery accessible to visitors. Here, true to its vocation of creating experiences, Hakuten Creative has attempted to revive the testimony of the past through an installation based on the refraction of light When these prisms were hit by direct light, white light was transformed into a rainbow, as we can see in the beautiful images that tell of the event, thus inscribing it in the eternal present of the web. The installation was completed gradually over the course of the exhibition, which lasted about a month. During the day, the many prisms forming the composition were visible, and from above, one could perceive how they trace the island's outline. The artists used simple materials: the support was made of recycled wood, with a finish of local sand. 
Interaction with visitors was of great importance: visitors sitting on the sand manipulated the light in their own way to create numerous chains of light covering the beach. The light from the prism shone in and out of the sand, arousing emotions in viewers not only on-site, but also far away, as prism was visible from the town of Yokosuka across the bay, rekindling memories.
Many people came to see the installation, revitalising the area. Certain negative memories of recent history were transformed through the power of art and design into something poetic and beautiful. For visitors from abroad and locals, this installation altered their understanding of history. As Hakuten's creatives explain, this intervention was certainly not intended to glorify war but to “preserve memories of the past through various expressions of art and design that prevent them from being forgotten”, with the intention of “spreading this work around the world as an expression that artfully evokes memories born of a negative legacy.”
The project was conceived by Hakuten's creative artists to be gradually buried by sand and become a part of the landscape. If desired, however, it can easily be salvaged for a future edition of Sense Island.
prism was nominated Best of the Best at the Architecture MasterPrize 2021 global architecture awards.
Christiane Bürklein

Installation “prism” by Haktuen Creative
Location: Sarushima Island, Japan
Year: 2021 
Images: Kim Dong-Gyu
Find out more: https://senseisland.com/en/


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