Covering and Revealing--Transformation in Japan

  • Covering and Revealing
    --Transformation in Japan

    Jan. 2 - Feb. 6, 2018 Wintersession

    Covering and revealing altogether formed the Japanese aesthetic thoughts about how an object should be showed. An emphasis is placed on adding frame to an existing view so that the parts that are designed to be noticed will be highlighted; meanwhile showing up the whole picture or key features out of the whole in a thoughtfully designed perspective and timing. Throughout the process, unimportant and distractive things are hidden, while the part that matters gets highlighted. With the movement of changing these barriers, the view and the meaning will also get changed. In this project, I am focusing on the situations and dynamic that created the relationship of “covering and revealing”

    In Japanese temples and gardens, a window may be designed to show the most beautiful part of a cherry tree, a gate could be a frame for a painting and placed in front of the best perspective of the whole garden. The window of Shokatei, Katsura villa framed the woods view behind the pavilion to make it so deep as if it located in forest. The Genkoan windows prompt a meditative atmosphere of the temple hall by framing the view of its garden in different shapes. Furthermore, a variation of the composition of these barriers may also make a difference on the space, atmosphere, and the focal point. By folding, sliding different parts of the sliding doors and windows, Sagawa Museum tea house presents unlimited possibilities of showing the surrounding views and how the outside incorporates with the interior space.

    In my practice, I was not focusing on reproducing the look for these sceneries or views in reality. Instead, I focused on formalizing the idea that switching perspectives by covering and revealing can completely change the whole image visually and conceptually, and that viewers’ experience will also change through the dynamic of what is shown when something gets hidden, and what is hidden when revealing something else.
  • format: collage made on three folded books made from cardboard, washi, and watercolor paper
  • video documentation of the unfolding and folding process
  • Materials: Washi(Japanese paper), ink, watercolor paper, cardboard, paper tape, glues