tuula närhinen

AME -Japanese Rain

Japanese culture appreciates rain. Almost every kind of rain has a distinctive word for it. Japanese language specifies the type and season of the rainfall: soft or hard, summer or spring - even day and night rains have their special names.

During fall 2010 I had the opportunity to visit Japan - equipped with over 200 small prefabricated paper umbrellas. The paper had been “sensitized” with water soluble dye. When exposed to rain, the wetted portions turned instantly dark blue. Every time I took a photograph of the exposition. The series of photos show the locations where the rain occurred and the splahes on the umbrella reveal the strength of the rain. The exposed umbrellas are installed to form the kanji character for AME (rain in Japanese).

Exposed umbrellas installed to form the kanji character for AME (rain) 270 cm x 240 cm. Digital picture frame (left)
A series of small paper umbrellas exposed to rain in Japan