It’s all there… (Forest Fan)
Photos: Helena Marika Ekenger and Masuru Imada
“Helena Marika Ekenger has brought together an array of branches to create an assemblage that opens like a Japanese fan. This site specific “Forest Fan” starts on the ground at a point called “chi” just under the point where the sections of a fan meet called “kaname”. Traditionally, this “chi” symbolizes the earth and is a place where life begins – birth. Opening out from this beginning, the branches of Ekenger’s assemblage spread out and extend upwards – a “nature fan”.
Sometimes complex, other times quite simple, these branches continue to their end points suggesting a finality, or where we may end up after this life journey. The top fan ending is traditionally called “ten” and is associated with heaven. Paper elements affixed from behind the branches add a human and cultural element to what looks like a natural phenomenon. The fan-like form also could suggest a hand, whose two thumbs could be mother and father, and the fingers the children in a family. Like a 3-dimensional drawing, Ekenger’s fan with paper attachments recalls the ‘paper walls” in a Japanese home. Integration and unity of – spirit, mind, body – in nature.”
John K. Grande