Rain in Kyoto
It all started with a rain shower while being a residential artist at Kyoto Art Center in 2020. Rain can have many faces.The Rain I experienced was soft and gentle while the sun was shining. The image on the streets of Kyoto changed. Suddenly out of nowhere almost all pedestrians opened up their umbrellas above like a swarm or a choreography impulsed by the rain drops.
My surprise increased when I noticed that stores placed umbrellas outside to lend it to the passengers. It inspired me to work with both elements- the umbrella and the water drop.
兄弟姉妹 (Kyo-dai to Shimai) is the name of the umbrella composition, which means brother and sister. It plays with the collective interaction when it starts raining in Japan. In a certain way the umbrella is a connecting element and also brings strangers closer together when they exchange umbrellas and offer protection. The installation creates a sea of reflections. The umbrella as a single piece disappears and takes on a new embodiment in the multitude.
Experimenting with the illumination of a single water drop was challenging. Mixing light and water is like revealing some kind of magic. the drop consistently falling in its own rhythm like a metronome creating a continuously changing caustic refraction on the wall and the ground. And when the water drop falls, its own shadow becomes visible like the center of a target disc. It disappears when finally reaching the ground.
This artwork is a visual narrative that not only captures a transient moment but also pays homage to the spirit of Japan and encapsulates the beauty of collective behavior in a culture that embraces kindness, unity, and the ephemeral grace of nature.
4 x 4 x 3,5 m
Quartier am Hafen, Q18
Kyoto Art Center
Quartier am Hafen
Ministry of Culture and Science of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
Film & Photagraphy
© 2023 Alessandro De Matteis