Monumental installation at a roundabout in japan
Design studio Takao Shiotsuka Atelier created a monumental installation that drips like paint through the use of colored steel pipes and planted the sculpture in a roundabout at Ajimu, Usa City, Oita Prefecture in Japan. The public art revolves around the theme of water as the studio shares how the idea for the roundabout installation came from the imagery of mountains being reflected in the Ajimu Basin in Oita, which was once a lake. While riders and drivers within the roundabout are not advised to gaze directly at the installation as they drive, passengers and passersby in the neighborhood can witness the steel pipes of different lengths arranged in equal intervals with some of the pipes colored in pastel hues. Up close, they look like continuous raindrops, but from afar, the combination of the original steel-pipe color with the pastel ones creates the illusion that the installation is floating.
images courtesy of Takao Shiotsuka Atelier
Deceiving the visual perception
The design studio says it was intended to position the pipes in such ways to deceive the visual perception and shift the installation’s look depending on the viewing position of the person. The approach traces its style to the way the water ripples when a stone is flicked onto its surface down to its bed, disrupting the stillness of the images reflected on its surface. When the viewer goes around the intersection to inspect the monument, the statue-spirited installation seems to move in sync with the movement of the person, following them without moving from its position. The illusory imagery is underlined, and the intention of the design studio to remind the viewer of the way the water flows appears.
roundabout installation by Takao Shiotsuka Atelier drips like paint via colored steel pipes
Symbolism and culture of Ajimu
The Japanese title of the installation is ‘盆の棚’ which roughly translates to ‘tray shelf’, and the online images that pop up – when the original title is searched – resemble a flight of stairs with a placed object in every step. Tray shelves, on the contrary, are stacks of folder containers anchored on a steel or plastic frame. Somehow, such concepts reflect the installation Takao Shiotsuka Atelier made as they stack the colored steel pipes in rows and columns and the way the pipes hang from the circular grid-shaped shelf forms the abstract of the grape trellis cultivated at Ajimu, a potential offering to an altar. The studio writes that some of the pipes are made of solid wood and reach down to the ground to support the monument while for the colors, the natural elements that make up Ajimu are used as motifs with the pastel colors symbolizing the traditional culture of Ajimu.
it looks like the roundabout installation is floating
a view from this angle makes the roundabout installation reflect dripping paint