Motoyuki Shitamichi (Japan-Naoshima)
Motoyuki Shitamichi grew up in a small village in Okayama, Japan until he was 10 years old. Back then, Shitamichi dreamed of becoming an archaeologist. He had a unique feeling when he saw the fragments of the past becoming part of the soil. Such an experience also evoked the memory of his school being evicted by heavy equipment.
In 2001, after graduating from Musashino Art University, he started his debut project which eventually took 4 years. He traced the relics of World War II found in apartment and residential areas. Following the project, he continued his creative journey exploring the Okinawa Islands and across Asia. In 2020, he decided to go back to his homeland in the Setouchi region and start a new project.
“Tsunami Boulder (津波石)” (2015-ongoing)
Since 2014, while traveling to the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands, which are located near the borders with Asian countries, Motoyuki has been searching for rocks that were carried from the seabed by the tsunami and washed ashore on land, and photographed them. Motoyuki then continued to explore this idea, he found many interesting stories and beliefs about the stranded stones. These stones are not merely signifiers of memories of disasters, as well as local religious beliefs, colonies for migratory birds and homes for insects, and are creating unique landscapes in which nature and culture are combined.
The video series “Tsunami Boulder” is an installation work by observing a huge stone that does not move at a fixed point, recording it in different minutes of video, and playing it in a loop. There is no audio in the video itself, but as a collaboration, the audio may be related as another loop from the outside.