Minatomachi Under Ground Project

This was an art event held in a cavernous, unused underground space called Naniwa Tunnel, which slumbers beneath the city near JR Namba Station in central Osaka. Naniwa Tunnel is a long, narrow enclosure, 190 meters in length and varying in width from nine to 25 meters, which rather resembles an illustration of one-point perspective. The space, formed carelessly as a result of work on an underground railway tunnel directly beneath it, was scheduled to be repurposed as a subterranean pedestrian walkway when the surrounding environment was developed, but actually it was sealed off and left unused for nearly 10 years. By chance I came to know of its existence, and collaborated with artists on a plan to “awaken” the sleeping space with light-based installations. Takahashi Kyota generated dazzling light at the perspectival point of focus using 1,232 fluorescent tubes, and the video art unit “seesaw” and the Miyamoto team projected imagery on the floor, walls, ceiling, columns, and beams, evenly like wallpaper and devoid of meaning. The project showcased this fascinatingly deformed urban space, bringing it into the light of awareness for perhaps the first time.

location Naniwa-ku, Osaka
date 2003
Co-exhibitor Kyota Takahashi
Tetsu Kubota