「空を真似た青」/Ah・・・Mr.Blue longs to be the sky, will be H2O

北海道苫冠村アルファリゾート・トマム アイスヴィレッジ






Mr.Blue longs to be the sky, will turn into H2O

In 1986, an artist Katsuyuki Shinohara aka Kuma encountered with iron at a site of where a building was being taken down.
The scene of how easily iron could be melted and cut with the flame of burner and bare iron jutting from the concrete wall attracted him strongly. He felt that iron was graceful and splendid material having the same organic cycle as human. Iron, the material, will be oxidized and eventually return to earth someday. For Kuma, meeting with iron was also meeting with fire.

After 10 years, at last, he took possession of a furnace to cast iron.
Being able to control the temperature of 1600 ℃, Kuma began to cast not only iron but also glass. The glass was transparent- iron for him. Extraordinary temperature has been always inspiring him.

In 2005, a resort company located in the coldest place in Japan offered Kuma to install something interesting in the open-air of the hotel.
Kuma had immense interest in minus 30 degrees, water antithesis of fire, light living in ice, and ephemeral existence (cycle) of the work.
He imagined casting water.

He cast 3.6 tons of natural water from mountain into an iron mold; 2m outside diameter, 1.8m inside diameter, 3m height.
The inside of the iron mold was wrapped by a vinyl sheet and then by a carp wind streamer; Japanese traditional streamer to celebrate for boy's ambition. The iron mold is usually used to make concrete pipes for water supplies. Kuma said that using the tools and materials made for construction and other industries for his art, is fascinating.

He put 3 tubes into the water to send fresh air from a compressor to freeze the water slowly. Pull up the tubes a little before they freeze.
He changed to fresh water at least three times as water drives out impurities on the process of freezing. Kuma had been reading many science books of ice and understood that changing water and freezing it slowly were very important points make transparent ice.

After 14 days from the casting, the water was iced completely.
When the iron mold was taken off, the carp was swimming in the ice.
The work was named "Ah…Mr.Blue longs for the sky, will turn into H2O."
Even if the temperature is below zero, it has to be protected from the sunlight. The sun does not only melt ice but also the ultraviolet rays make it cloudy.

Around 60 days from the completion of the works, the carp could not been seen at all.
At last, after 75 days from the completion, the work fell into pieces under plus 7 degrees.
Kuma said that Mr. Blue disappeared turning into water to the fields but he will come back again as rain and snow.