Meditating Wind no. 66: Forbidden Mandala

Meditating Wind no. 66

The ring of jagged rocks is an art installation at the Setagaya Art Museum. As I was setting up this photo, a man came out of the museum and scolded me for doing this.

“Even though this is outside, this is still art. You can’t just walk in there.” Well, of course I knew this was art. That’s why I was interacting with it in this creative way. But my Japanese was too limited, so I just did what everyone in Japan does, bowed and apologized.

In my defense, there was no sign or tag describing the title and artist.  And no “Do Not Enter” sign.  For all I knew, it was interactive art.  The man also warned me that people have gotten hurt on the jagged edges. If that was the case, I wonder why the piece was displayed in such an open accessible place, where just meters away were many kids running around.

But he was absolutely polite about it. And it was part of the art experience, the symbolism of being told not to enter a circle. A circle that is at once forbidding, because of its sharp edges, and invitingly accessible, because I just had to step over the barrier.