STATEMENT



- 折り鶴との歩み –


幼少期の頃に熱中した折り紙。その中でも特に有名な伝承折り紙の一つである「折り鶴」。

共に時間を過ごして行くに連れて「折り鶴」には、彷徨っている気持ちの吐き場所であり、繰り返される惰性の様な違和感を感じることがあります。そこには自分と折り鶴とを繋ぐものや、自分の考える折り鶴の「居場所」や「終着点」というものは、ありませんでした。


2011年に東北で震災がありました。翌年の4月に岩手県陸前高田へと赴き、現地の方の話を聞き、実際に町を見て回りました。自然の脅威の前では人間は何もできないのだと恐ろしく、また、その中で輝く生命の力強さも受けました。いつの時代も、人種も性別も社会的地位も関係なく襲ってくる自然の脅威と向き合い、しかし時にあやかり、共存しているのだと改めて感じます。そしてその体験は同時に、いまを生きている、ということをハッキリと意識させられる様です。

その様な中で、津波に流された校舎の瓦礫脇に置かれた千羽鶴を見て、ハッとしました。

それはまるで行き場のない気持ちを折り鶴に託し、この世ではない場所を行き来するようにと祈りを込めた孤独な儀式の様でした。うまく言葉では表現できませんが、今、折り上げている折り鶴はそういった厳かな「祈り」からきているものなのかもしれません。またその様な事柄を作品に落とし込むことで、折り鶴の「居場所」を創り上げています。

改めて見つめ直してみると、折り鶴はどこか尊く、また神秘的な「なにか」がひそんでいる様に感じます。そして、それはまた、私の信じている「美しさ」でありました。

ひとりひとりが自分なりの「折り鶴」との歩みを持っているかと思います。どの様に感じてどの様に思いを重ねるかは人それぞれですが、作品との対話を通し、心を揺さぶる「なにか」が生まれることを願っています。


小野川 直樹



- My Journey with Origami Cranes -


I have long found the practice of folding origami (folding paper) cranes for the sake of peace to be a peculiar custom.

I often hear people refer to origami cranes as a symbol of peace. Since the end of World War II, people from all around are said to ship paper cranes to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even now, apparently people continue to send exorbitant amounts – several tons – of cranes to both cities every year. What strikes me as odd about these paper cranes is how they function as a vessel for people’s unrequited emotions – and how their makers, almost by habit or instinct, choose to fold them over and over again. I have great reverence for the act of praying for peace. But in this dynamic, I felt that there was nothing there that connects me to the cranes – and that the cranes are, at least in my mind, not where they were supposed to be.

In my youth, origami – or the art of paper folding – was a passion of mine. Among the forms you can find in origami, the origami crane stands apart as a particularly famous, traditional form of the art. Within the cranes I see a central point of reference for myself, together with a special “something” – a special quality.

In 2011, the Tohoku region in Japan suffered the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster, and I made my way to Rikuzen Takata, a city in Iwate Prefecture – one region hit by the disaster – in April the following year. There, I spoke with many of the locals and walked about the town. I found myself in terror of how powerless we humans are in the face of nature’s wonder; yet at the same time, I felt empowered by the power of life, vitality, that shined so brightly in the aftermath of its wrath. I am again reminded that regardless of the times, mankind comes face to face with the threat of nature – a force with little regard for race, gender, or social status. And yet, from time to time, we also live in harmony with nature and flourish with its blessings. This experience reminded me of this fact, and also made me aware: I am here, alive, in this moment.

In the midst of all of that I felt and saw, I happened to notice a bundle of one thousand paper cranes placed at the wreckage of a local school building swept away from the tsunami. I was taken aback by the sight of it.

Up until that point, I felt that war and peace were concepts to tightly linked to these cranes. But at moment, I found them in a place untouched by these notions. This is what shocked me – for some reason, I felt like it made sense for them to be there. It was like witnessing the result of a desolate ritual – where people channeled their unsettled feelings into these cranes. And here they exist – spirited with prayers that they would go back and forward to and from a world beyond here. I struggle to find the words to describe it, but I think that maybe the cranes that I fold now come from that place of solemn prayer. And with those matters in mind, I create these works with the intention of giving origami cranes a place to belong.

In reflection, I feel that something about origami cranes is sacred – that within them, they harbor something of mystery, of the mystic. And these are the truth in the concept of “beauty” that I have faith in.

I believe that each person familiar with cranes has their own history with them. How each person feels about them and holds these cranes in their mind is unique, but it is my hope that my works allow for new dialogue. Through that dialogue, it is my hope that there is something, whatever it is, that stirs the heart of the viewer.


naoki onogawa