Monday, June 12, 2006

Weird sculpture from Tsukuba Expo '85 site

A weird sculpture at the Tsukuba space centre

Some people say I think too much about things. This may be true. But when I see something like this, I have to wonder about a lot of things.

In a previous post, I showed one of the neglected remenants of the World Expo Tuskuba City held back in 1985. Today, I thought I'd show you one of the more polshed ones.

This sculpture sits right on the fence of what's left of the old Expo site. The upper part actually straddles the fence, not unlike my opinion of this sculpture. On the one hand, I admire artists who are willing to experiment in visual media. On the other, I think it's kind of a strange-looking piece of art.

Still, I have to wonder how much money went into commissioning it.

In his book Dogs and Demons: Tales from the dark side of modern Japan, Alex Kerr paints an ominous picture of Japanese government and bureaucracy. In one chapter, he discusses how the Japanese government relies on pork barrel projects to generate votes.

Basically, he says that many rural areas have few industries. Few industries mean few jobs. Few jobs lead to an unhappy populace. And an unhappy populace is likely to vent its anger toward the government by voting them out.

As such, the government sinks billions of yen a year into construction projects to provide jobs for people. Whether the projects are necessary is beside the point, according to Kerr.

In this case, I don't know if that's an entirely valid argument. After all, the World Expo did bring people from around the world, spending not only time but much-needed money in Tuskuba. It also put Tsukuba on the map as the new hub of technological research and development.

But still, I have to wonder. How much money was spent on building the site, including this sculpture? More importantly, how much was spent on all the consultants and the meetings and the traditional wining-and-dining that typically makes up a large part of the process? And was this sculpture really necessary?

Maybe I do think about these things too much. Maybe I've got a thinking problem. Maybe I need to check out Thinkaholics Anonymous. Who knows?

But I do like this picture. How about you?


At 6:07 p.m., Blogger Tom said...

Interesting article...

At 9:11 p.m., Anonymous tore said...

I think the sculpture is OK...looks like empty peanut shells, but it's alright. As to whether it is necessary or not, of course art is never necessary in a community in the same way as hospitals or schools or whatever but life would be pretty dull without it. And from what I hear, with one of the highest suicide rates in Japan, Tsukuba residents sure do need cheering up.

At 9:30 p.m., Blogger Azhar said...

Pretty cool shot you captured it pretty well, one of the best from you.

At 2:32 p.m., Blogger micki said...

I like this shot.

Keep on thinking...I believe most people don't do it enough.

At 2:47 p.m., Blogger Stardog Champion said...

Thanks for the comments folks. I was actually really happy with the shot itself. I was especially lucky that the moon was in the position it was when I took it. If it were a full moon it would have been perfect, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get. Thanks again for visiting!

At 9:24 a.m., Blogger Bill Cotter said...

Do you happen to know the name of the piece or the artist? I have a picture I took of it during the Expo and was trying to put a name to it.


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