Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Commissioned by the Young Affiliates of the Mint as part of Project Ten Ten Ten to commemorate the opening of the Mint Museum Uptown on 10/10/10, it's titled "Passage: Waterway" and was created by artist Tetsunori Kawana.
When it was unveiled on Aug. 11, 2011, I read that Kawana wanted people to walk through the sculpture and feel connected to nature while contemplating the life cycle. That's why he specified that it be left up for a year and then demolished.
One day when its bamboo was still fresh and green, I decided to go see what all the fuss was about. From a distance, it looked like a giant bird's nest landed on the lawn. It wasn't until I walked through it that I began to develop an emotional connection to the work of art.
Inside it I felt small and in awe of the trees, sky and grass that I could see through its twisted pieces of bamboo. Instead of feeling like a cage, it actually made me feel closer to nature. It was like a walking meditation to wander through it.
I would wait until no one was around and go through it alone so I could take my time and enjoy just being there in the moment. Because it's on the museum's lawn, you don't have to pay admission to view the sculpture, so I would go back again and again.
When spring came around, it became the center of my socializing. I'm fortunate to live near the museum, so I would invite people over, we would walk down to experience the sculpture, then go back to my house for drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
I meant to do more of that this summer, but either my work schedule or the blazing hot weather would make me put it off. Now I only have a few more days left to enjoy it. On Aug. 16, it will be torn down. It may sound silly, but I feel like I'm losing a friend. It's a reminder to enjoy and appreciate things while you have the chance.
Annie Carlano, the Mint's director of craft and design, articulated that thought beautifully in a statement released by the museum:
"(It) has now come full circle," she said. "It's gone through the four seasons, its life cycle, and is coming to an end. How lucky we have been to live with it, walk through it and experience it over the past year."
Posted by Olivia Fortson at 3:34 PM