Light and prisms for an installation by Hakuten Creative in Sarushima

The future needs memory: remembering 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 Creative hakuten, active for over fifty years in creativity, from design to visual communication. prism is part of the event “Sense Island Sarushima Dark Museum 2021”, started in 2019 with the aim of bringing the island and its nature to life through the works of various guest artists as catalysts of attention.
Sarushima Island is located in Tokyo Bay, just two kilometers from the Yokosuka coast, and can be reached in 15 minutes by ferry. There are still vestiges of the past here, such as a cannon battery accessible to visitors. Here, faithful to its vocation of creating experiences, Hakuten Creative has tried to bring to life the testimony of the past through an installation based on the refraction of light When these prisms were touched by direct light, the white light turned into a rainbow, as evidenced by the beautiful images that tell the event, thus inscribing it in the eternal present of the canvas. 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 outline the outline of the island. The artists used simple materials: the stand was made from recycled wood, with a local sand finish.
Interaction with the visitors was of great importance: the visitors sitting on the sand manipulated the light in their own way to create many chains of light covering the beach. The prism light shone in and out of the sand, sparking emotions in viewers not only there, but also far away, as the prism was visible from the town of Yokosuka across the bay, rekindling memories.
Many people came to see the installation, revitalizing the neighborhood. Some negative memories of recent history have been transformed by the power of art and design into something poetic and beautiful. For foreign and local visitors, this facility has changed their understanding of history. As the creatives of Hakuten explain, this intervention was certainly not intended to glorify the 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 “disseminate this work around the world as an expression that artfully evokes memories born of a negative heritage. “
The project was designed by the creative artists at Hakuten to be gradually buried in the sand and become part of the landscape. If you wish, however, it can easily be picked up for a future Sense Island edition.
prism was nominated Best of the Best at the 2021 Architecture MasterPrize Global Architecture Awards.

Christiane Bürklein

“Prism” installation by Haktuen Creative
Location: Sarushima Island, Japan
Year: 2021
Images: Kim Dong-Gyu
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