Behind the Great Wall 1989


A R T  A N D   D E M O C R A C Y, Merging One Gallery, Santa Monica, California, 1989

brick, earth, wheatgrass, sound


Commemorating the Tiananmen Square incident that took place in Bejing in June of 1989, this installation dealt with a disruption between the dichotomy of freedom and restraint.  The brick wall symbolized the Great Wall of China, the former Berlin Wall, as well as political borders and barriers all over the world more generally.

The wall extended through the gallery window and disappeared into the ground. A three minute looped recording provided a sound component to the piece. Beginning with Nagasawa’s heartbeat, the sound of a lone set of footsteps emerged, to be replaced by the ominous rhythm of a military march, and ending with the deep chanting of Tibetan monks. A few days before the exhibition opening, the Berlin Wall collapsed. In response to this historic event, Nagasawa planted wheat berries between the bricks of the constructed wall, representing new life emerging from the destruction of old political systems.

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