The last 3 days of a residency is always crazy. You try and do the things you definitely didn’t want to miss, plus still try to make work- all the while ignoring that you have to pack and clean.
This time wasn’t quiet as bad as when I left Barcelona on New Years Day 2000, but was close enough to make the memories very vivid. At about 2am I realised that I wasn’t going to get any sleep so I may as well have a cup of Earl Grey to get me through to when I had to leave at 4:45. I still feel a bit discombobulated, and can’t remember where I put things. Including two drawings that I had been working on in my last 48 hours, which I was meant to take with me to scan and send back to Australia. The brain works in strange ways on less sleep- I had some pretty odd trains of thought, but I made the first shinkansen and saw Fuji.
I was still a bit delirious when I got to Beppu. I was standing on the platform looking at a vending machine that read at first to me as “Devil’s Corner” until it morphed into Drinks Corner.
Speaking of the devil or spirits, there where many occasions during the residency when I thought I saw some one move out the corner of my eye or disappear around a corner in front of me. Tokyo Wonder site is an office building and you spend a lot of time walking from lifts to your flat, laundry or studio, down empty grey carpet tiled corridors. Most residents, and former residents, comment about the uncanny feeling to the building, however it didn’t feel that way to me, perhaps as it is like many of the new buildings I go into in Canberra or Sydney.
However I did wake up several nights because I thought I heard someone open my flat door. One night I had a really strange dream where one of the smoke detector workers (who had been into the flat the morning before the dream), wearing his pastel mint green uniform had just enter my flat, I had jumped out of bed to see who it was. He was standing by the door, but instead of a short haired clean shaven man it was the head of Stephen Mori- long grey haired, with long grey beard. I woke up in a sweat.
There are some small sculptures of a cone of salt in some of the corners of the corridors. I just assumed they where a left over intervention by a former resident, however when I went to dinner with Andre and Atsuki at the Kabuki bar the night before I left, I noticed that there where two small pile of salt on the footpath either side of the doorway. I asked about them and the woman said it was to keep away evil spirits. When I think of it now, the fact that an artwork would be left in place at Tokyo WS when they don’t even leave tea bags in the flats would seem a little odd. All of this said I didn’t ever feel scared just that there was a strong feeling of the building ghosted.
Inside of the Shinkansen. Breakfast on the Shinkansen. Check Magnetic Glimpses for the views of Fuji.