OBAKE “A”

STILLIFE No.16
W840 × D460 × H460 mm
2021, Edition of 3+1
Collected: SOMEWHERE TOKYO

A Japanese Lantern morphing into
a modern OBAKE “A”

Traditional Japanese folk tools and antiques that are considered “obsolete” in this day and age. However, we can feel and appreciate the passing of time through these old artifacts. I’m inspired by the‘spirits’ these old tools carry and try to bring about a change in attitude. Emphasizing the contrast between the old tools, characterized by their deep textures and atmospheres not present in mass-produced products, and modern industrial materials such as brass and glass. Brought together and combined in a classical yet sophisticated new form. By reinterpreting these “old tools” in a contemporary way, a change occurs that transforms the object into a “more attractive tool”.

Red eye: OBAKE “A” / Blue eye: OBAKE “UN”

These one‐eyed OBAKE have a meaningful look that originated in ancient Sanskrit culture. The red-eye “A [a]” is the facial expression that is the first pronunciation to make a sound in Sanskrit, which means “truth” and “spirit of inquiry” at the same time. The blue-eyed “UN [hūṃ]” expresses the pronunciation to close the sound, and at the same time means “wisdom” and “nirvana.” There is also the idea that describing the beginning and end of the universe is represented by considering the “A” and “UN” as a pair. In Asia, it is a common sight to see a pair of guardian statues with the expression “A-UN” placed at the entrance of temples and shrines.

Photo by Nik Van Der Giesen