Naoe Suzuki
Flow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
DetailFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
DetailFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
DetailFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
DetailFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with waterFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
DetailFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
DetailFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
DetailFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
DetailFlow: art project investigating our relationship with water
Detail
Flow: art project investigating our relationship with water

2015 - ongoing
“People protect what they love.”
– Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Marine explorer and conservationist

Céline Cousteau, a granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, starts with his quote in the Foreword for “Blue Mind” by Wallace J. Nichols, a book about the science of water’s healing power. This is a simple yet powerful statement. It reflects our relationship with environment, especially with water. We think that water is finite resource, but not so, especially with the current relationship we have with water.

I started to think about our relationship with water. We’re not equal partner with water. Instead, we are dominant partner—we control and take whatever we can without protecting or giving back. In any relationships, we need to provide love, nurture, and protection to our partner if we want the relationship to last long.

This project is my attempt to rethink and understand better about our current relationship with water. The emphasis is on “with” —as a partner.

“What is your relationship with water?”

I type this question on Japanese papers that were soaked and stained in tea and water. Water is invisible if you look at it in a glass. But water always leaves marks wherever it goes. Water finds a secret path and wants to go where it wants to go. The tea makes the water more visible on the paper, creating almost terrain-like imagery on paper. I type each questions and participants’ responses with a manual typewriter. I meditate on this question, slowing down to feel the weight of each letter, and the meaning of this question.

At an exhibit, participants are offered a piece of original art in exchange for their thoughts on their relationship with water—an act that may suggest a reciprocal relationship between the artist and the viewer, but also between humans and water. Participants will leave the gallery with a tea-stained Japanese paper either bearing the typed question or typed responses from other people. Each sheet also bears some marks in blue mineral pigment. I see this exchange as an invitation to plunge deeper into the question as I have been doing, or as a reminder for a deeper appreciation for water.

Each time I exhibit this project, people's thoughts on water will be circulated and passed onto other people. New responses will be added, and participants will take what they want to have as a reminder and leave their thoughts for others to ponder. New participants type their thoughts on tea-stained papers with any blue pigment. Theoretically, if all the original sheets were to be replaced by new responses, the display will not bear any blue pigment, and it would look "dry" only to bear stories from people about their relationships with water.

Visit the project website.

You can also participate in this project on Tumblr. Submit your story or image.
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