Nelson Crespo

Residency Program

Exchange Residency Program
(Creators from abroad)

2012.09 - 2012.11

Nelson Crespo

Participating ProjectExchange Residency Program (Creators from abroad)
Activity basedUnited Kingdom
Period2012.9 - 2012.11
Purpose of the residency

I have always been fascinated by the relationship between art and nature.
Japan is a country where the raw power of nature has been an inspiration for artists and craftsman. Hokusai's "Great Wave" best illustrates this.

But that same raw power of nature is also a fact of life. Japan is a geographically and geologically challenged country and has a long history of natural disasters that deeply affects the people and the society as a whole.

My interest as an artist is to inquire the impact natural disaster has in the way art and culture evolved over the centuries. As an example I will look at traditional architecture in particular at the Ise Jingu Shrine. The shrine is rebuilt every 20 years as a way of passing building techniques, traditions and knowledge from one generation to the next. The rebuilding of the main shrine takes place on an adjacent site next to the old, and each rebuilding alternates between the two sites. This tradition dates back 1300 years.

Could it be that this tradition is a result of a long process that evolved over centuries, having been initially a pure and simple pragmatic response to repetitive destruction of man made spaces by the raw power of nature?

Plan during the residency

My research activities will revolve around the relationship between art and nature in Japan.
My studio practice and my field work/research will overlap because I intend to use the street, a public building, a gathering, a library or shrine as an extension of my studio.
I am interested in certain aspect of Japanese life especially those related to the beauty found in imperfection, impermanence, and things incomplete. Junichiro Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows an essay on Japanese aesthetics will be the conceptual framework for my project.

I will use various forms of expression including photographic documentation, drawing and the making of small sculptures.

My photographs will capture evidence of the representation of the raw power of nature.
With drawing I will create representations of coastlines and islands, exploring perceptions of distance and feelings of safety in relation to danger zones.
Using sculpture I will pursue the sophistication and attention given to small objects exploring imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness.

Creator Information