Kyoto Journal

Shin Maruyama: Gardens and Water Sculptures

Garden

It is said that a Zen garden represents in a three dimensional space the spirits of high priests who have achieved enlightenment. The Zen garden is the expression of boundless cosmic beauty in a physical environment, created through intense human concentration, labor and repeated action.

One can attain a feeling of serenity by simply being in the space of a Zen garden. It is its own universe, empowering the visitor to resist temptation, eliminate negative thought, and sever the continuous stream of inessential information emanating from the outside world.

I have tried to represent this feeling I get from Zen gardens in my artwork. Although I am still far from those enlightened monks who labor in nature, my actions of repeatedly throwing liquid into the air and photographing the resulting shapes and sculptural formations over and over-endlessly-could be considered a form of spiritual practice to find personal enlightenment.

 

Water Sculpture

I am fascinated by the fragility and incompleteness that exists with all things beautiful. I throw water into the air, and in mid-flight it changes shape constantly, being pulled by gravity and bursting with surface tension. Each flight barely lasts more than a second.

In each moment, the water becomes a beautiful figure which can be defined as a “part man-made and part natural” sculpture. I wanted to capture these beautiful impermanent water sculptures by photographing them in the exact moment, when the essence of their existence is pure.

www.shinichimaruyama.com/