Tokoname, Aichi, Japan, 1984
earth, sea water, fire
7 x 17 x 5’ / 200 x 530 x 160 cm
In 1984, Nagasawa took the Trans-Siberian Railroad and traveled through Eastern Europe, Russia, Mongolia, and China and returned to Japan after a six-year absence from home. Inspired by the sight of the Great Wall of China vanishing into the desert, she built a sculpture of a wall that would gradually return to the earth. A large wall was constructed out of local earth and water from the ocean. After the drying period, the sculpture was fired for seven days. Holes in the sculpture channeled the wind like a musical instrument, creating whistling sounds. The sculpture stood for many years, but was considered complete only when its materials had been eroded by the elements, and it had returned to the earth from which it originated. Noyaki means “field firing” in Japanese.