In Geneva, Switzerland, a tree-themed festival of light continued through the middle of winter, from December to January. I was invited in the winter of 2011, the year the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. When I did a site inspection of the old city, I sensed the trees standing on top of the hill which had been central to the religious faith in Geneva since the Celtic age, and I made the theme of my installation a prayer for the souls of the victims of the disaster.
For Japanese, the tree that comes back to life every spring is a symbol of the endless circle of birth, death and rebirth. On this tree, I exhibited a work that expressed life and death by the serial repetition of light and darkness. Additionally, I created awe-inspiring beam over the entire tree by directing a strong white light that could be thought of as the “light of God” from the top of the adjacent cathedral. At the base of the tree I used light to draw the French words for “life,” “birth,” and “re-birth,” etc. and this overall tranquil work had a strong message residing within.
: City of Geneva
Project Team : Julien Pavillard (Art director)
Dates : 2011