After Finishing the Wind Caravan Sanda

When I look at the rice field filled with vivid greenery under the mid-summer sun, I cannot believe that this is the same rice field that was covered with water reflecting the mountains and the sky only two months ago. When the rice was planted, 21 sculptures, which looked like white sails receiving the wind, were installed on the rice field, and the windmill cottage was established on a farm road. At the opening ceremony on June 11, as many as 800 people, including guests from far away places and even overseas gathered at the rice field-which spreads in front of my atelier-despite the lack of convenient transportation. Since the event was held in the middle of the rainy season, it was very risky to do everything outdoors. Although I was worried about the weather until the last minute, the weather stayed fine, which was a small miracle. The opening ceremony was a greater success than I had expected. Local children planted rice; a symposium "What We Can Do for the Earth Now" (Panelists: Tadao Ando, Pierre Retany, Frans Krajcberg, Susumu Shingu, Moderator: Yusuke Nakahara) was held; and the Okura-style kyogen "Denen Sanbaso" (Genjiro Okura, Rokurobyoe Fujita, Senzaburo Shigeyama, etc.) was performed on a farm road at dusk. People were able to enjoy the country air and feel the passage of time. After the chorus of frogs, many fireflies appeared that night. Who could imagine that this event would turn out to be such a great success, given that it depended largely on the changeable elements of nature. Pierre Retany said it exquisitely: "Someone is supporting you from above."
During the two-week event, 2,500 people visited the site. Naturally, it rained on many days. However, many people walked the two kilometers from the nearest station, the JR Aimoto Station. Many came more than once. I was very happy to learn that one person came six times from a long distance away.
Wind Caravan Sanda ended in a great success, thanks to the warm cooperation of local residents. The event will now move on to five other sites around the world. The next site is an uninhabited island called Motukorea which lies alongside the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, and the event will be held from November 4th to 19th. The 21 works stored in the windmill cottage will soon be dispatched.
I would like to say "thank you" from the bottom of my heart to the many people who participated in Wind Caravan Sanda, as well as to the people who are supporting this event in each part of the world. Thanks to your warm support, the Wind Caravan will send wonderful messages to all parts of the world.
July 25, 2000
Susumu Shingu