title_ Elixir

date_ 2005

materials_ wooden traditional house, glass panel screenprinted with poured paint and plant and fluids, blown-glass vials, plant extracts steeped in shochu, laboratory glass

exhibited_ permanent installation for Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan

photos_ Shigeo Anzai and Janet Laurence

sponsor_ Asahi Glass Corporation and Asahi Beer Co

text_ A botanical, glassy environment within a restored, traditional, small, wooden house.

One enters through a medicinal garden, into the wooden interior lined and layered with glass veils and vessels inscribed with plant names and stained with plant fluids, creating a laboratory like space echoing an old apothecary, or a tiny, botanical museum.

The viewer, immersed and reflected within this space is served the plant “elixirs”/juices, mixed with shochu as potions/drinks.

The research and plant processing has been a collaboration with the local community and preserves and offers an ancient tradition and knowledge of the medicinal plants and an intimacy with the natural environment of the region.

Janet Laurence