Description of the work
through viewing its reflections in the water affected by microgravity“
My art project “Blue Earth Gazing” is inspired by Otsukimi, a traditional Japanese custom of moon viewing. Since ancient times, we Japanese people have admired the moon in their own way: not always by direct viewing but rather, through viewing its reflected images on the surface of a river or on that of a full cup of sake, sometimes while composing poems for example. It is because we have long considered that beauty is fragile, feeling deep affection for something transient and ephemeral.
So, “Blue Earth Gazing” is all about admiring Earth in the same manner as Otsukimi, through viewing its reflections on the surface of the water.
The transformation process from mist to water balls through water drops is a reference to the birth of Earth formed of space dust. Viewing Earth from outer space while at the same time witnessing such a shape change of water could be interesting.
So the most important goal of the art project is to obtain video images which could stir our imagination and extend our sensitivity.
I often hear the returned astronauts saying that their love for Earth has deepened much further since they saw it from outer space. Such their remarks have interested me extremely, making me realize afresh the importance of visual experience as well as the necessity of the further exploration of its non-negligible influence on us human beings.
So borrowing from Ostukimi, the Blue Earth Gazing project investigates the impact of the visual experience on our thinking and feelings.
And “why on ISS” is because ISS has been the only place to overlook Earth in outer space until now. In addition, water’s change of form and movement expected to occur under microgravity conditions must be very interesting visually.
In brief, ISS is an ideal place to explore the relationship between our visual perception and emotions.
By making its visual results available to the public, the art project could offer people a good chance to rediscover Earth, which is a round, blue and really beautiful planet existing in vast universe, and deep their love for the planet.
In a sense, each and every artwork created on the earth is affected by gravity, you might say. So this opportunity of realizing an art project in outer space under microgravity conditions will be a “heaven-sent” chance to open up a new horizon for art.
The Blue Earth Gazing project uses water but in a closed cylindrical container to prevent it from spilling out in the spaceship. This container has a transparent window at either end, so one is set close to a window of the spaceship while another is attached to a video camera, in order for an astronaut in charge of the project Mr. Chris Hadfield to shoot water balls expected to occur, reflect Earth and go around in a circle inside the container, with the view of Earth seen from the spaceship’s window in the background.