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visible breath


Format: 5 Channel Video Installation, HD
Duration: 14min30sec ( loop )
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Sound: stereo




Having produced various projects upon the theme of the handing down of tradition since 2008, he has led back to his birthplace of Tsurugi, Hakusan city in Ishikawa Prefecture. Renovating a local rice store house into a studio and gathering a project team from Tsurugi and beyond, the result of 4 years' work has culminated here in this project.

The local festivals, customs, and culture which pervade everyday life;these elements which have come to saturate our very bodies, and have been naturally accepted - where have they come from? Starting from this question and reaching back into the past, it was during his search for memories of the shaping of the land's culture that he encountered the researcher of folklore Hakuji Muranishi*, bringing a significant impact upon Sakano's creative practice. The stories of this local folklore "researcher" reach beyond Tsurugi to encompass the myths of the whole of Japan, tales of the roots of settlers from overseas, a grand "fiction" taking on a history of several thousand years.

This work, based upon the tales of Muranishi, folklore legends and personal fieldwork, develops a series of stories following through five different ages from the ancient past to the present. Migrant settlers, the spread of the culture of iron production, the changes of a mystic nature; here these stories presented upon 5 screens continue to evolve as they correspond with and at times hail to "present / future". Tsurugi, born of such rich nature, is a trading town which has prospered between the sea and mountains, and which is held sacred in local belief. Customs and culture are inherited, transform and reach beyond time. This 'breath' can be sensed here, and in tracing the trajectory of these workings, the land, people, and time itself builds layer upon layer. And in that breath, woven from a multilayered world, what is it that we imagine, and what form of story shall we continue to tell?

* Hakuji Muranishi
Folklore researcher and resident of Tsurugi, Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture. Muranishi is engaged in the research of the Noto peninsula, rich in its colourful continental culture, the local Hakusan beliefs which defined an age, and local ancient history. His pursuits introduce local history, culture, nature, traditions, folklore and industry, engaging in an activity which sets out to activate the area both spiritually and economically.