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YOU,THE WHOLE CREATION#1706

The Aizu region in Fukushima Prefecture is a land with many undulations created by the Iide mountain ranges that soar high above, and the valleys of Tadami and Aga rivers. In the Aizu region where Maruyama has organized quite a few art projects, she truly felt the natural riches inherent in that land. The residents of this region naturally have the sensibility and the spirit to respect and coexist with the environment around them. Experiencing the environments around Aizu and the catastrophic natural disasters of 3.11.2011 allowed Maruyama to become aware that humankind is but only one type of life form that dwells in that region. She also came to realize the preciousness of existing through interrelations with others in the “here and now.”

This work depicts “human beings” and “all other existences” (in the work, the latter refers to “the whole creation”). The “human world” is a form of civilization that we have built on the surface of the earth. In contrast, “the whole creation” signifies all existences and phenomena in this universe. That world not only consists of life forms but also includes such phenomena as a dense feeling that one might perceive while deep in the mountains. Does that feeling derive from the spirit of the earth, or from the accumulation of eternal time that the earth has nurtured? She aspires to perceive all such existences around us in a new light—that is, even if there are existences that cannot be scientifically explained.

The space in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum where Maruyama showed this work was located deep under the ground; thus, she felt as if she were getting closer to the something that is inherent in that land. For the solid sense of the space, with walls that might remind one of a rough geological feature, allowed her to perceive the sounds of the forest outside the museum and the trains passing by. Those sounds reverberated as if some distant planet was contacting us, which led one to become conscious that humankind is but one type of life form.