MOHRI, Yuko; Breath or Echo
Yuko Mohri’s installation Breath or Echo 2017 features a subtle soundscape of electronic pulses and delicate percussion over which automatic pianos play elegant compositions. It is inspired by the vast landscape of Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido and the work of celebrated Ainu sculptor Sunazawa Bikky (1931–89). Mohri’s installation features a recording of the poem Bikky composed to accompany Four Winds 1986, an outdoor sculpture he designed to decay with the elements. Addressed to the wind, the poem describes a beast whose four heads and four legs correspond to the seasons, to which Bikky offers a set of four-legged trousers.
Mohri responds to a reading of Bikky’s poem by sound artist Camille Norment with a score created by the composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, which is played on modified pianos accompanied by instruments constructed from magnets, bells and ceramic insulators found in Hokkaido. Mohri’s signature street lights flicker quietly at the end of poles laid in unusual configurations, and complement the open and contemplative music.