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Shining Tree in a sacred place, Shiga

Shining Tree, Oji Kusatsuu, Shiga design by MoNo Architects, Japan

5 Jan 2012

Shining Tree in a sacred place

MoNo is a Japanese architectural office led by two architects, Fumiaki Nagashima and Mami Maruoka Nagashima.

Installation art work

Shining Tree in a sacred place

About this work

This art work was dedicated to the people who had passed away in several disasters in this year 2011. Especially in Japan, the massive earthquake hit this country land with the huge tsunami so much that considerable damage and profound sorrow came to us.

MoNo had the opportunity to join the illumination event “Kusatsu Machiakari Yumeakari Hanaakari – on autumnal Kusatsu road with sensory gratification”, which got over 30 thousands visitors. So MoNo could open our work as one of programs of “Akari Art Exhibition” which were held in some historic shrines and temples.

Shining Tree in a sacred place Shining Tree in a sacred place Shiga Shining Tree in a sacred place Oji Kusatsuu
pictures from MoNo, architects

This event, 2011 is the 8th time, is operated by the chamber of commerce of Kuatsu-city. This city is by the Lake Biwa and it was an appointed area for inns along the 52 stages of the Tokaido road in the Edo period as an important junction of two main roads, Tokaido with Nkasendo. We can know the prosperity of this city with many shrines and temples in existence or Honjin which is rebuilt and preserved as one of government-designated historical site.

In such a city, in the grounds of “Oshioi Shrine” which was constructed in Heian period (more than 1100 years ago), MoNo’s art work was created and opened. It consisted of 2 installations, ”Shining Tree” which was higher than body length, and a lot of “SaSa” which were put under foot of Shining Tree. The former is a illumination device made of non- woven fabric which is cut like Shide (shrine’s white paper).

A few Shining Trees cleared the axis of this art space and led vision of the visitors, being setting on the line connecting the Shrine Gate with the Sacred Tree. And the latter is a new version of lighting shade “SaSa” redesigned for a candle, which was designed in the image of bamboo leaves and opened with MoNo’s work “UKIGUMO- floating clouds” in France 2010. Over 120 candles with “SaSa”s were put on non-woven fabric which was spread around feet of Shining Trees like a surface of Lake Biwa.

Shining Tree in a sacred place Japan Shining Tree Shiga
pictures from MoNo, architects

Visitors could be surrounded by a lot of illuminations, walking on a path set in this art work. Every candle-light conveyed messages from cityscape or life which perished in an instant and also the people who took off for a distant world. And towering Shining Trees were the symbols of our destinations. The shining vegetation of this art work, trees and SaSas, came up in the sacred shrine where we take over from our forerunners, and held us who tried to walk on a new road.


Event: Enjoing Autumn Kusatsu-road through the five physical senses Kusatsu Machiakari Hanaakari Yumeakari “Illumination Art Exhibition”

Organizer: Kusatsu Machiakari Hanaakari Yumeakari Executive Committee

Site: Oshioi shrine, 2-2-33, Oji Kusatsuu, Shiga, Japan

Dates : 04 – 05. Nov. 2011 18:00 – 21:00

Shining Tree in a sacred place images / information from MoNo

5 Jan 2012

Snow Tree & Snow City

Installation art work

Shining Tree in a sacred place

About this work

This art was created and opened on Dec 2011 as MoNo’s third work for historical architectural spaces and as the closing work for the year when suffered from unparalleled huge disaster.

Snow Tree & Snow City Snow Tree & Snow City Japan Snow Tree Japan
pictures from MoNo, architects

The place for this work is in “Kyu-Yagishita-tei” built for a residence of Yagishita Family who flourished in trade of copper-iron from early Meiji era in Yokohama. It was reconstructed historically with the form as before in Negishi Natsukashi Park under the control of Yokohama City, The residence is composed of 4 zones (East zone and West zone of Japanese style area, Western style zone and storehouse), showing the prosperity of the past.After certification of Yokohama historical construction, this space is opened free and used in various communication opportunities by citizens.

In such a historical space, we changed the room in the Western Style zone for Christmas art. This is MoNo’s fourth work since we started to create an installation art work in a historical rchitectural space for the Festival of Lively Architecture in France in 2010. The theme concept is “Yokohama city dressed in snow” in the days when this residence was built. Two installations, “Snow Tree” as this residence and “Snow city” as many buildings, express the scene of that period in Yokohama.

Snow Tree & Snow City Japan Snow Tree Japan
pictures from MoNo, architects

This work whose materials were only white color had illumination device. It presented 2 scenes, in the daytime snow shined in the day light by the polyethylene foam material which could reflect, and at night that illumination of city diffused in snow by the LED system which was put inside. A snow day in December was there with silence and purity.


Organizer: Negishi-Natsukashi-Park-Kyu-Yagishita-tei Management Committee

Site: Western style room in Kyu-Yagishita-tei, Negishi-Natsukashi-Park, 11 Shimo-cho Isogo-ku, Yokohama, Japan

Dates: 01 – 25. DEC. 2011 09:30 – 16:30

Snow Tree & Snow City images / information from MoNo

Location: Shiga, Japan, East Asia

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