Strijdom van der Merwe
2003 Kamiyama Artist in Residence Participant
In Kamiyama from September 23 to November 18, 2003
Born in 1961 in South Africa, studied art in South Africa, the Czech Republic, Holland, and England. As a land artist he uses the materials provided by the chosen site. These temporary sculptures made from wood, sand, and/or leaves are then documented by means of photography. During his residency in Kamiyama he made several land art works using the beauty of the landscape. These works, which were created in the river, on the mountain, and in the forest are now photographically displayed in the permanent collection of KAIR.
A permanent work was also made on the mountain using natural ao-ishi stone from the area. The work consists of a circle of 10 stones. On each stone a line was cut resembling a contour line. In the middle of the circle a flat stone was placed with the title engraved: "Contouring lines on stones to hold human time" The work of Strijdom van der Merwe is to celebrate the beauty of nature, and to make people aware again of the fragile changing natural world we live in.（→ Strijdom van der Merwe website)
→ View Photos of Strijdom in Action
→ View Strijdom's Works
‘Contouring lines on stones to hold human time’
The forest sleeps, day and night. More humanly than man – like a child from outer space.
Man, who doesn't sleep, awakens spirits, spirits of the forest who inhabit Oawa Mountain.
The huge installation, which can be both ancient and modern, evokes gnomes.
On the top summit is a circle of blue boulders, with a line cut into each stone.
In ancient Japan, they broke stones for the souls to rest in. On the slope, there lies a casket of the queen of the forest, made of zelkova trees, with the sun shining over it.
Throughout the forest, we could hear the echoes of the voices of the children who, returning to nature, were crying with joy. (Musashino Art University Professor Ryu Niimi)