The Lights of Onomichi / Koki Yamane's sima salon
In April of 2020, I was participating in a residency in Onomichi, Japan. I was introduced to a local Restauranteur, Hotelier, and lover of art, Koki Yamane. Koki and I became fast friends and hatched a plan to create a piece of art for his newest hotel and bar. In exchange for my work on this piece, I was given a place to live and was allowed to use the Sima Salon as my studio.
It was in this studio that I created the sculpture Lights of Onomichi. The old Japanese naval flag is a symbol of the conservative politics of Japan, it is akin to the confederate flag of the United states. One of my grandfather's ships was sunk in the battle of Leyte Gulf by a Japanese destroyer. I wanted to take this opportunity to explore and evolve the idea that our grandfathers fought each other over 70 years ago so that we could drink sake and create art together today.
I took the symbol of the flag and recreated it with a traditional Japanese screen printing design. I then started to break apart the flag symbol while transitioning the sun's rays into a dreamscape of the views and sights I experienced while living in Onomichi.
The light is approximately 2’ by 5’ mounted on plexiglass covered in resin, the light box is an old Japanese sign for one of Koki’s restaurants.