White Line (Tokyo)

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Title: White Line (Tokyo)
Photo Credit: Adam Frelin
Lead Artist(s):

Contributing Artist(s):

Description:
White Line (Tokyo) is a string of fluorescent fixtures strung along an arching steel cable within the Japanese garden at the International House of Japan. One hundred, twenty-five feet in length, the line of lights spans the distance between opposite ends of the garden, visually filling in the gap between the tree-lined edges. In my work, I include crucial elements that hint at something human, something that is a part of our built world. Through their ubiquity and banality, I chose to work with fluorescent fixtures. I thought it was a wonderful challenge to attempt to make fluorescent light--which is very unflattering--look beautiful. As much as White Line (Tokyo) references the grand gestures of artists such as Heizer, Smithson, and Flavin, it is also a staged prop. Though transformative, I appreciate the fact that a viewer can clearly see that the piece is comprised of something so common. In its planning, I often imagined that it could have been created by an office worker who, distraught by his career choice and environment, removed all of the fluorescent lights from his work place in the middle of the night, and went in search of a redemptive purpose for them. In many ways the line of lights operates as a decoy, similar to a visual effects machine. Initially attracting a viewer's attention, their gaze soon wanders away from the piece to the garden itself, exploring the effect that this strange light source has on every path, tree, plant, and leaf. While the highlights and shadows created appear almost supernatural, the quality of fluorescent light outdoors is surprisingly similar to moonlight. Accentuating and illuminating every detail within this garden, White Line (Tokyo) functions to heighten the appearance of the site.
PROJECT LOCATION

Garden
In the garden, Kanto, Japan
5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo, 106-0032
Japan

click the map to enlarge
PROJECT TEAM

Japan-United States Friendship Commission
Embassy of the United States, Japan
Christopher Blasdel
unknown
PROJECT DETAILS

Permanent
$6,000
under $50K
Public
Installation
Metal, LED
Installation
2007
2007