Concept of the Mandala Land Snow Festival

The Sakuyazawa area in the mountain village of Yamanobe in Yamagata prefecture has been called Mandala no sato, which means home of the mandala or mandala country. This refers to the presence of ascetic mountain priests in the area many years ago who made ritualistic use of the topography as a Buddhist mandala, a map of the spiritual world. We have chosen this area as the site for a combined art event,hoping to gain inspiration from the spiritual and artistic heritage of the area as we create new cultural forms. Participants will be able to create and experience works of art using snow and other natural materials found in the area. We hope that this event will make a positive contribution to the life of this rural community as well as creating a place for meditation where participants and visitors can share an experience like that of the forestd-welling sages of the past.

The open-air exhibition will be composed of works made and installed at the snowy site , free of the confines of the museum and with due regard for relationship between life , ecology, the region,and the Earth.This event is modeled somewhat on the outdoor sculpture program in Grizedale Forest in northen England but with an original Japanese approach to the relationship between art and nature. Using snow as a medium,we intend to reexamine the fiction of "the eternity of art".