Mountain womb

What makes a mountain a mountain? Where does it start being a mountain? Every day I gaze up at the shape of Mt. Akagi, and the surface changes with the weather and the seasons. The view of the mountains from afar makes my heart full.

But as you journey into the mountains, the world you see changes. In the mountains, there are dangers and many unknowns, which makes the experience both frightening and fascinating.
Mountain worship goes back to ancient times; it is deeply rooted everywhere, and when you are close to the mountains, you are reminded that they are sacred places.

When I think of what makes up a mountain, the interior, I think of it like a womb. It feels like there are not only living things and minerals, but also tangible and abstract things, and space and time are fluid. In a sense, it is chaotic, but I feel that it also nurtures an orderly world. I wanted to explore that sense of the mountain interior in the closed, womb-like space of an elevator.
Sawako Kanai

*In ancient Japanese belief, mountains and caves were often seen as a metaphor for the womb, and the journey through could be seen as a rebirth ritual, giving new life.


※The work is located inside the elevator of the Green Tower.


Sawako Kanai
1982 Born in Maebashi City, Gunma
2009 Completed the Sculpture Course at Musashino Art University Graduate School of Art and Design
2013 Jointly opened the art space and shared atelier “Maebashi Works” on Chuo-dori (Rose Avenue shopping) arcade.
The artist expresses folk traditions and beliefs in a fictional world through storytelling and installations.

Major Exhibitions
Solo exhibition “Cell in the Sea of Decay” Ai Gallery, Kyobashi, Tokyo
2009, 2012
“The rising generation 6” Shibukawa Museum / Kuwahara Hiromori Sculpture Museum, Shibukawa, Gunma
Arts Maebashi Opening Commemorative Exhibition “Kazeiro no Hana – Dialogue to the Future” Arts Maebashi, Maebashi, Gunma
Art Program Ome 2014 “Weaving Perceptions” BOX KI-O-KU, Tokyo
Solo exhibition “Grayscape” ya-gins, Maebashi, Gunma
“Inside the Layers” Kanai Sawako & Ayuko Sugiura / The Fine Art Laboratory, Kodaira, Tokyo
Perspectives for the New Generation 2015 “From the Other Side / Beyond / Problems of Possibilities” Ai Gallery, Kyobashi, Tokyo
Gunma Art 2017 “The Place of Contemporary Art in the Local Community,” The Museum of Modern Art Gunma, Takasaki, Gunma
Solo exhibition “Reverse River” Maebashi Works, Maebashi, Gunma


The artist expresses folk traditions and beliefs in a fictional world through storytelling and installations.



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