The Story of Stones

HD video & sound [video available on request]

Camera | Chaong Wen Ting

Ishi no Monogatari | The story of the stones

The Story of Stones was shot during a residency at Shima Onsen, a small spa town in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, Japan. It was screened in the installation The Curves of the Hours at Nakanojo Biennale 2017.

There is an ancient edict from the Japanese Emperor, that decrees that river stones must not be moved. This order is echoed in the Japanese National Anthem. The Kimigayo expresses the enduring wish for the reign (of the Emperor) to continue until pebbles grow into boulders and moss grows on the stones. This anthem has been called the most controversial in the world by some, because it reinforces an insular patrotism.

In the idyllic town of Shima Onsen, there are many stones around the rushing river. But the human habitations, hotels, schools, shops are slowly falling into ruin as generation after generation abandons the countryside to pursue a modern urban life. The film was shot in two spa hotels, on either side of the river. One is now abandoned by humans, and inhabited by spiders and their networked webs, pungent mold and thriving fungi. The other hotel houses a solitary inhabitant, the guardian of this slow process of entropy creeping out of the stones.



Sounds | Miquel Parera

[ film available by request ]

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