A Half-Submerged Sculpture Reflects the Divisive Sentiment Around Tokyo 2020

By artist Masahide Matsuda.

Art
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The Olympic Games in recent memory have all come with a bit of controversy — particularly from the citizens of the host city. Put frankly, hosting the games is an incredibly expensive affair that requires years of planning and an uptick in infrastructure, much of which, will be seldom used or downright abandoned when the games finish. On top of the usual obstacles in place of presenting the world’s games, you add in a global pandemic and the need for one becomes questionable. That was the sentiment felt by many residents of Tokyo as the latest Summer Olympic Games were taking place.

Artist Masahide Matsuda was one such protester, who installed an artwork that reflected the divisive sentiment felt around Tokyo. Entitled, Ripples, the five iconic Olympic Rings are seen half submerged in the water, right outside one of the stadiums holding events. As an endearing symbol of sport, this sculptural work is a “symbol of our times” said the artist in a past statement. The sculpture is actually only half of the rings, and only becomes whole through the reflection cast by the water.

Matsuda was inspired by an ancient haiku by Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho, “The ancient pond. A frog leaps in. The sound of the water.” Matsuda’s mark creates a metaphor of contemporary times, where “truth is embedded in privacy,” whereas the truth we seek in the media is increasingly crumbling.

Ripples will be on view at several galleries around Tokyo until the Paralympic Games conclude on September 5.

Elsewhere in art, Japanese-American artist, Hiroya Kurata will unveil a new show at Over the Influence Hong Kong.

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