La Divina Commedia

date: 2010.01.31

No Man'sLand
(2009.11.26 ~ 2010.02.18 / French Embassy, Tokyo)

 A sound installation suite by Kare-San-Sui Surrounding named “La Divina Commedia Suite” is installed into 3 areas in the ex-French Embassy. This suite, inspired by the well-known epic by Dante Alighieri which was composed in the 14th century in Italy, has three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. Please pilgrimage these 3 areas just as Dante did.





We at Kare-San-Sui Surrounding installed our master piece Kare-San-Sui garden with sound in the classical Japanese-styled court of the ex-French Embassy. For example, the Stone Garden of Ryoanji is famous as the way of zen gardening. “Kare-San-Sui” expresses nature, like mountains or oceans, with only stone and rock. We express the cosmic image just with sound. As Dante portrayed stars in the epic, we tried to create a mixed image of the Ptolemaic system and contemporary cosmology. ?You may listen to the sound in the past or in the future since this microcosm can not be measured by absolute time. The acoustics of the space are produced with special sound acoustics and hardware. Please stroll inside the garden. You will hear the sounds from speakers on the virtual circumference as if the sound objects really exist here and there.






There is a work named Purgatorio, the place for expiation of one’s sins, in the original piece at the the main building, Room 101. It is neither Heaven nor Hell, nor any place in real life. Guests must face themselves in this space. A motif of this piece is the number “3″ which symbolizes the trinity to which Dante attached such importance. Red, White and Blue symbolize Love, Hope and Faith, and the sound, light and aroma triad will guide you to the gate to Paradiso. You will see some cutting edge technologies here as well. Three supersonic wave speakers will talk to your mind immediately. And the room is filled with the aromas of ginger, lotus and bamboo. They work sometimes as a combination, sometimes separately to remind you of your own memories. This room is to allow you to experience how mutual inductions between sound, light and aroma happen. Please enter the room alone and face to the gate just in front of it. You will see something happening or nothing happening. But it will be your own unique experience.ut is the object there? Or is it not there? ?Look with your inner eyes as Zen tells us to.





The horrific Inferno is above the black door in the basement of the main building. The noise of the boiler room of this building is led to this space in real-time as water is led to a rice field. The sound is released with some special sound effects. It is not noise anymore, but actually noise music. This is the concept called recycled noise by Kare-San-Sui Surrounding and based on the thought of John Cage: “every sound should be equal”. Here, Inferno has nine hierarchies and they sound different according to the guest’s moves in this space. If you are sinful you will be tortured rather than just being annoyed by this industrial noise.