Events

At Todaiji Temple: “To Build a Ship”: A Project by Cai Guo-Qiang

From March 26 to October 23
 
 
Ships are the symbol of cultural exchange through oceans, connecting the continents. 10 ship carpenters from China came to Japan to publically construct a traditional wooden ship similar to those which sailed the East Asian ocean.The completed ship is exhibited as a symbolic project for this event, with Kagami-ike Pond substituting for the ocean.
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  • “To Build a Ship” Project/Cai Guo-Qiang (China)
    Born in Fujian, China in 1957.
    After studying in Japan from 1986 to 1995, he moved to the United States.
    Currently, he resides in New York.
    He has won various prizes including the Venice Biennale International Golden Lion Prize in 1999, the Hiroshima Art Prize in 2007, the Fukuoka Prize in 2009, and the Premium Imperiale in Honor of Prince Takamatsu in 2012.
    A contemporary artist representing China, he was the Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and Art Director for the APEC opening ceremony in 2001. He is one of China’s most renowned contemporary artists.
     

To Build a Ship

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  • The process of building a traditional East Asian wooden ship, similar to those traversing the East China Sea, was done publically by Chinese ship carpenters.  The project “To Build a Ship” began on the opening day of the “Culture City of East Asia 2016” in March 2016.  For about 3 weeks, people visiting Todaiji Temple could observe the ship building process.
    Since its completion, the ship has been floating on Kagami-ike Pond as the symbolic project of “Culture City of East Asia 2016, Nara”. It will continue to be exhibited until the end of our core event period for “ART CELEBRATION IN NARA – Beyond Time and Space” on October 23.
     

The Ship

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  • Ships are a cultural heritage common among East Asian countries, exposing cultures to each other through ocean travel, influencing each other. They are also symbols of the trade and exchange conducted in East Asia.  This ship is the symbol of the Culture City of East Asia 2016, Nara.  With Kagami-ike Pond in Todaiji Temple substituting for the ocean, the people of East Asia can board together and sail into the future… It’s a site with the serious objective of the Culture City of East Asia project, solving various East Asian issues.
     

Creating at Todaiji Temple

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  • Todaiji is the symbolic entity of the internationally opened Nara Period. The project is held at this place, bringing a glimpse of East Asia’s future and being a symbolic existence internationally
     

This project raises a question: “Can we continue to sail these waters sharing one ship?”

Production Process

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Ship materials from China arrive in a container.
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Pre-production begins.
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The ship’s frame starts to take shape.
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Bending the boards helps determine the shape of the ship.
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The start of conveyance to the exhibition sight.
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It took 2 hours to carefully move the ship about 800 meters.
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Starting public production next to the temple path.
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Many observers checked on the work as it progressed.
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The mast is finally up.
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Fixing the mast to the ship. It is nearly finished.
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Finally, the completed ship.
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After completion, Kagami-ike Pond awaits.
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Carefully lifted by a crane.
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The ship afloat on Kagami-ike Pond
Visitors can see the ship at Kagami-ike Pond at Todaiji Temple until the end of our core event period for “ART CELEBRATION IN NARA – Beyond Time and Space” on October 23.