This project was part of Kyoto Art Walk, an event which presented
installations by contemporary artists in old sacred buildings
The installation is based on experience of the traditional
wooden Uguisu-bari, "nightingale floor", in certain
parts of Nijo Castle in Kyoto
during a visit to the city some years ago. The "nightingale
floor" is made with a special timber technique which
makes it impossible to
walk on the floor without it making quite beautiful squeaking
sounds. The idea of the floor surrounding the living and sleeping
quarters of the palace was to work as alarm system. No one
could enter the space without being heard.
This installation is a modern, simplified version of this
kind of floor made to the tatami space of Joju-In of Kiyomizu
Temple. Pressure active censor mats are placed underneath
some tatami in the space.
Each censor mat is connected to a computer trough specially
made control box. The computer is connected to amplifier and
speakers. All equipment, speakers and cables are hidden so
that there is nothing visible in the space. When someone walks
over a tatami
which has a censor mat underneath it the computer plays a
certain sound file with quite low volume.
The sound files are modified from the live recordings made
at original "nightingale floor" of Nijo Castle just
some days before the exhibition. In this way the project as
a whole connects two historical buildings of Kyoto. Admiring
the garden from the tatami space or from the balcony in front
of it is a very personal, intimate and sacred situation although
it happens in a public space. The idea of this installation
is to tell in a subtle way the person meditating and looking
at the garden if he or she is sharing the experience with
someone else without having to break his or hers attention.