Before Object, After Image: Koshirakura Landscape 1996-2006
Each summer for the past ten years the AA's Shin Egashira has organized a workshop in the remote village of Koshirakura, in a mountainous region north of Tokyo. Each summer, the 81 mainly elderly inhabitants of the village are joined by a youthful horde of outsiders who become part of their lives for three weeks, occupying the empty schoolhouse, visiting their homes, and contributing to annual rituals such as the Grass-Cutting Day and Maple Tree Festival. When they leave at the end of their stay, the young people leave behind a structure designed to improve in some way the lives of the inhabitants. The past ten years have seen a gradual accumulation of extraordinary and strangely beautiful structures. Their singularity is hinted at by their names: Watermelon Platform, Bus Shelter, Roof for 200, Festival Vehicles, Azumaya, Stargazing Platform . . . Some structures were destroyed by the 2004 Mid-Niigata earthquake, but all are preserved here through photographs, drawings and words that document their making. Texts by Shin Egashira are paired with diary extracts— some poetic, some humorous— written by the students and villagers.
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Andreas Lang architecture Asao Tokoro Azumaya bamboo beer bench building Bus Shelter bus stop carp cherry trees construction edge Eguchi elderly film Funasaka Grass-cutting day Haruo hill Hiroko Ogura Home stay Igawa inside Japanese Japanese carpentry karaoke Kawanishi Town Ken Mineta Koshirakura Koshirakura Village landscape maple tree MapleTree Festival Masanori Watanabe mikoshi models night Niigata objects Opposite organised party pinhole cameras play playground pond rice field Rita Lee road ropes sake Sanjeev Sanjeev Sharma Shin Egashira Shinano Shinano River Shintaro Shodo shrine Shuji Mizukami Slow Box Slow Window snow soba space Star-Gazing Platform stone straw structure suitcase camera summer Takakura Village tatami textural timber Toryo Toukamachi Town Hall traditional Tree Festival Tsumari Ueno Uonuma vehicle Viewing Platform village volleyball Watermelon Place winter workshop Yamakita Yasushi Takahashi