- Flowing Stone" concentrates on the strong
contrasts that are evident in Japanese culture.
Also the importance of details
and the focused commitement
are under examination. Furthermore, Sansui explores
the interface between light
and shadow, and the synthesis of movement
The term 'Sansui', which means scenery or garden, is formed
of the words mountain and water. These basic elements have
a contrasting nature - a heavy, static mass versus a flowing
elasticity. They complement eachother and create a dynamic
harmony. This strong contrast is a central theme of Japanese
culture. In aesthetics it is highlighted at one extreme by
a stark minimalism, a clarity of form and geometry, and at
the other extreme, by elaborate decorative details and a surge
of brilliant colours. In architecture and street culture,
extreme phenomena break the enforced norms. In their way of
living the Japanese display a sensitive decorum but also a
bold, defiant strength.
Unlike us 'children of the light' in the West, the Japanese
are fond of the soft aesthetics of the dim, where the object
may be defined in a more beautiful and touching manner than
under the the full blast of an all-exposing, informative light.
What then exists in the interface between light and shade?
Where does the border run? And if we move towards the shade,
how far do we have to move the object from the cascading light,
before it is completely swallowed by darkness?
Despite geographical distance between Japan and Finland, there
are striking similarities between our cultures. There is a
kindred spirit; a common sense of wistfulness and a longing
for the peace and harmony of nature. The cultures are united
by a strong work ethic and a penchant for technology. The
simultaneous familiarity and foreigness is compelling. Niina
Airaksinen examines the distinguishing features of Japanese
culture from the outsider's perspective. The work Sansui
is a collage that has emerged through the subjective
filter of Airaksinen's interpretation, rather than a faithful
reproduction of the original.