Our work in Japan

On July 26th, 2009, Japan began the fourth edition of the Echigo - Tsumari Art Triennial, the largest outdoor art event in the world. That day, Darek celebrated his birthday ;)

This year, out of over 600 entries for the contest, the jury chose to implement work of the Polish-Lithuanian artist Stasys and two young architects from A+D: Krzysztof Kołodziejski and Marek Witaszewski.

Title: The Visitors (guests).

Job Description: Installation takes the form of a sailing ship masts that stand in a landscape typical of Japanese rice fields. Each sail is a reproduction of Stasys pastels depicting faces. The work can be viewed on 8 August 2009 in Japan.

Technical Details

Three masts of 14m each with three lanes of 2m sails. At the sails printed reproductions of Stasys pastels depicting faces. Structure reminds of the shape of historic structures like sailing frigates. Each mast is mounted directly in the ground and reinforced system of ropes.


The project is implemented in the region of Echigo province Matsudai Tsumari Niigata prefecture, about 200km northwest of Tokyo. This area is slightly hilly, and most of the surrounding area is used as paddy fields. You can say that it is a landscape typical of rural Japanese, traditional and far from the typical associations with this country. Masts stand near a local road. Arriving nearby we see different parts of consecutive poles and the shape of the ship seems to be dynamically changed.


There are a number of possible interpretations of work. Like most other works by Stasys can be considered as the visualization of abstract concepts and paradoxical. Work causes a variety of associations and feelings. There are several possible interpretations.

From a distance sailing ship silhouette is associated with freedom and unlimited space. It may therefore be some surprise when we find that the "ship" is in the middle of the mountains. When you get close to the object we see that poles are permanently affixed to the land, and the faces on the sails - the crew, is trapped. This is the first paradox.

Sailboats for centuries been a symbol of travel and international relations. Japan was closed to the outside world for a period of 250 years. Therefore, the ship sails in the European style in the heart of the inherent characteristic of Japan's landscape can be a symbol of the openness of modern Japan.

When you look at sailing from a distance it seems lonely. When approach closer, you can see that it is "inhabited" by the faces of the sails. They are the crew, large and talkative. There is still a feeling of loneliness can be maintained, as you can see, the faces do not see each other, and each cares only about himself.

You can also metaphorically say that the Stasys ship sailed to Japan . His relationship with this country have always been strong and is very highly regarded. It is significant that on the opening day of the Triennial Stasys will celebrate his 60th birthday.

Living the life of a contemporary artist is like a life of a wanderer. Faces that hang on a sailing ship, visited many places of the world being posters and paintings on exhibitions. Now, they finally have a place of rest.

In the end, it is important that local residents will have their own open-air gallery. Art will not be closed in the gallery, but it will exist in harmony with nature.

Link to the Art Triennial: official site

Link to the video: youtube



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