Cityscape Garden

  • Inspired by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows, I wanted to incorporate the Japanese aesthetics of concealed things into the cityscape of Providence in order to bridge traditional Japanese and Western aesthetic sensibilities. In this process I also seek to transform Providence into an "urban garden" in accordance to Japanese garden aesthetics by combining the dynamics of light and shadow in order to communicate miegakure, the "now you see it now you don't" characteristic that is the basis for the allure of the hidden.
  • Through the art of paper cutting, I created individual buildings characteristic of Providence that one can slide around using the tabs outside of the box. 
  • By adding this interactive element, viewers are able to express their individual aesthetic sensibilities by arranging the cityscape in various compositions according to their liking. 
  • This kinetic aspect also focuses the audience's attention on the dynamics between light and shadow as the paper houses are moved and the simultaneous concealing and revealing of different details.
  • The reverse side of the box brings a different emphasis to the light and shadow dynamic by turning the physical forms of the paper cutouts into forms of shadow. The result is an ink-like kinetic painting in which changes in lighting and angle affect the appearance of the cityscape; this also introduces a new method of interaction with the piece.  
  • Detail shots
  • Binder's board, illustration board, cardstock, tracing paper
    15 x 6 1/2 x 9"