Andrew’s world in Japan

Storage Locker

Storage Locker

Andrew Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & connecting with other creative people.


Best Foot Forward Apples are oranges now and again

Growth. Decay. Two words with almost the same meaning. What set’s them apart is their connotation. That is, growth has a positive impression, opposed to the negative frown of decay. When we look at something, a space, an object, a building, whatever, how do we view it? The fi rst

I Fertilize

I Fertilize

feeling we hear, is it from the object, or simply ourselves. Exploring the landscape of Shikoku had me contemplating these ideas. Especially when confronted with such an eye captivating lush landscape of trees, gardens and beaches peppered with abandoned dwellings, schools and factories.

Curiosity and the living photogenic nature of spaces in a state of obvious decay lend themselves well to my vision. I fi nd taking photos and observing these kinds of spaces generates a fresh relaxing juxtaposition to my constitution. It may simply be because visually I am simultaneously reminded of life within death. As the moss creeps along the wood or trees spring from cracks in roofs, the destruction or decay of one is the life bread of another. It soothes me to no end. I really appreciate it. Maybe it is something from the Shinto or Zen cultural traditions. Could it really just be the way I see things? Somehow it all works out in the end.

Let’s take tetrapods for example. ‘What’ you say. Along much of Japan’s coastal line, your vision is confronted with this multi-sided oddlooking concrete structure. Well, not just one, but tons. Tetrapod’s reside in these spaces as decorations. No, they serve “ in coastal engineering, a tetrapod is a tetrahedral concrete structure used as armor unit on breakwaters. A tetrapod’s shape is designed to dissipate the force of incoming waves by allowing water to fl ow around rather than against it, and to reduce displacement by allowing a random distribution of tetrapods to mutually interlock.” [Wikipedia] Not only does the use of these structures offer some protection of the existing coastline, it also generates jobs for locals to make them. The estimation is that al

Seaside Geometry

Seaside Geometry

most 50% of Japan’s coastline hosts tetrapods.

Much of the pristine sandy beaches have been totally altered. For some, that is destruction, decay. Others see growth. Is my silly human mind playing cruel tricks on me? Am I misunderstanding words and their applications to the world around me? No, I don’t think so. None of this is permanent to begin with. A process is ongoing, not a one time motion. Waves crash and crash and crash against this 3-D concrete puzzle. Rats make nests in them. Fish, moss, plastic bags and all sorts of microscopic elements build homes between, on and in these. Sand exists from the pounding of rocks and seashells into a dust by the constant friction of waves. As the UV rays of sunlight bleach out textiles, the same rays fee the oil absorbing algae.

And here we sit, caught between the pinch of growth and decay. Waves of thought crash into my mind, breaking down some ideas while hopefully fueling others. Here lies the contrast. Or is it a balance? And the pair of words with similar meaning but portraying alternate connotations. All of this, from wandering around and observing elements that make up earth, and in this case, Shikoku.