Okinawa marks lost castle with airport artwork

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Naha Airport, in the Japanese islands of Okinawa, is the setting for a new art installation, Float #01, which takes as its theme Shuri Castle, which was lost in a fire.

Shuri Castle, a world heritage site, burned down on October 31, 2019. By Akinori Goto, Float #01 focuses on a sacred grove at the castle, Suimuiutaki, which was miraculously spared by the fire. In this piece, the artist aims to convey the life energy of Okinawa and to create a project full of hope for the reconstruction of Shuri Castle.

Float #01 can be seen in the Domestic Departures Area C. Mesh figures rotate, and as the rays of light hit them, they appear to be walking. These figures represent people walking toward Shuri Castle after the fire. The light gradually reveals the people moving toward the castle, then becomes a whirlpool before manifesting itself in front of the viewer.

The installation is part of the Japan Media Arts Distributed Museum, which the Government of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs is running in 10 Japanese airports as part of a new project called the ‘Japanese cultural media arts dissemination initiative in airports and other institutions’.

The artists and creators featured in the exhibition capture the cultural resources of local cultures through fresh perspectives in places such as airports, which serve as gateways to these regions.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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