Sentiments of People Involved in the Project ① 2019

TAKAHASHI Fumiya (First year master’s candidate specializing in urban and architectural studies, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University)

Mr. Kawamata once said, “We are strangers. We came from other places and will create a new Shinhama.” Normally, when we talk about “restoration” or “reconstruction” in these kinds of circumstances, we tend to have ideas about “returning” life to the way it was in the past, and to make plans along those lines, but notice that Mr. Kawamata said “create.” Of course, it is important not to forget and not to repeat the tragedy, but as I worked with the artist, I became really conscious of the fact that we would not move forward if this was all we did. I had been wondering how I could contribute to the reconstruction as a student studying architecture in Tohoku. So personally, I feel that this different perspective has very much paved a way forward.

Staff who come from France and different parts of Japan do the work for Mr. Kawamata’s project in Shinhama. At first, I felt a bit tense working with people who speak a different language and have different backgrounds to me, but once we got started, I found that I really enjoyed the atmosphere of freedom, where we do the work with everyone thinking for themselves and working out roles in a really good way. The locals treated us very kindly, giving us vegetables from their fields and other things. I find it really interesting how this work contains the thoughts and labor of all sorts of people, even though it is Mr. Kawamata’s artwork.

(Source: Quarterly Machiryoku, vol. 36 , published by Sendai Cultural Foundation, 2019

TAKAHASHI Fumiya, student of Tohoku University