Clean bowled me after dinner /
One Akigawa spinner /
For a duck-like laden lunge /
A piquant portal plunge /
Via cascades and their ways /
With word & maple plays /
Drool pools quench your quiver /
The seeming streaming length /
Of this seamless cool-school river ///
• The title’s ‘Akigawa’ refers to the river of the same name, whose source is the verdant, mountainous Nishi-Tama area of far-west Tokyo, bordering Yamanashi prefecture. Its clean waters feed into the Tama River much further downstream, eventually emptying into Tokyo Bay beside Haneda Airport.
Akigawa (秋川) translates as ‘autumn river’, the deciduous trees lining its banks and overseeing its percolations part & parcel of its seasonal theatrics. Vis-à-vis the artwork, the locale is both a point of departure and return. Having spent much time in its embrace, it’s a wellspring, literally and metaphorically, of movement, natural phenomena, inspiration, rejuvenation & renewal – if you get my drift.
•Akigawa Spinner (33rpm)• was made in Japan, employing locally sourced wood. The reddish, central ovoid shape between the uprights, which attempts a positive spin on things, was printed from Japanese cedar (sugi • 杉) log-ends (maruta • 丸太) obtained from lumber milling outposts dotted around the mountains and accessed on motor scooter. The printing was done by hand using a 'baren', without the aid of a printing press.
The work’s compositional key rests on the juggling of the curvilinear and the rectilinear – the natural and the architectonic – in counterpoint. What representational incident does pepper the image is kept in check by the predominantly abstracted treatment, the latter going hand in hand with the way the woodblocks’ planar and textural qualities have been utilised.
- 38cm x 57cm