Mizunokuni Museum 104

I took a day trip to Sakurae-town today to explore Mizunokuni Museum 104 – an unusual delight in rural Japan. The museum offers a series of contemporary art installations centered on the theme of water.

In addition to indoor and outdoor installations, the museum features a gallery in which various sounds are produced using water. There is also an echo dome and a water-inspired video and light show.

This piece is titled AIR – Animals in Residence, and is intended to act as a home for wildlife. I’m not so sure it succeeded…

This piece is actually a bronze casting of the living tree in the background of the photo. The artist saw a woman’s thighs in the shape of the tree’s two main branches, and cast them in order to fully represent that idea.

He even added a flower-style vagina to complete the reference. The piece is intended to inspire “The Idea of a Garden”. There was also a giant penis lying nearby, but I somehow forgot to include that in my photos…

There were several kappa statues throughout the museum. Kappa are creatures of Japanese folklore that inhabit bodies of water. They are mischevious and sometimes dangerous but are bound by the laws of Japanese courtesy. All kappa have a small lily-pad shaped dish on top of their heads. This dish holds a small amount of water which functions as their life source. It is told in the folktales that if you are approached by a kappa all you must do is politely bow to him – for when the kappa returns your bow the water will spill from the dish on his head and he will die, saving you from potential evil-doings.

For a more complete review and many more photos of this museum, please see:

ojisanjake.blogspot.com/2009/04/mizunokuni-outside.html

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