Nobuho Nagasawa

Bird calling (Room with feathers)

This installation took place in the children’s section of the Sinop Penitentiary. The installation consisted of light, shadows and the sound of bird- songs. A few hundred blue feathers hung from the ceiling and were lit by spotlights, projecting shadows of the feathers on the stonewall. Songs of the local Turkish birds enveloped the space, evoking the desire to be free from confinement.

Crossing Point (Room with a quill)

An old table found in the penitentiary was placed in the center of a dark room. Salt from the Black Sea covered the surface of the table. A large feather hung from the ceiling like a quill. The movement of the people wandering through the room caused the feather to move slowly across the salt, erasing the names of the prisoners written on the salt, while the low murmur of the local Turkish birds filled the room.

Balancing Act (A scale by the staircase)

As visitors exited the room to ascend the staircase, they noticed an old scale hung from the ceiling. One plate contained a small mound of salt from the Black Sea, and the other contained figs, which were picked from a tree located on the prison grounds. The many seeds in the fig are supposed to signify unity and the universality of true understanding, knowledge and faith. Salt symbolizes life, as well as sorrow and pain. The fig and the salt are weighed against one another, as they are juxtaposed on the scale.

Out of the Blue (Room with a birdcage and a ladder) From the bright hallway, viewers entered the darkened room on the second floor of the children’s prison, and noticed a tall ladder positioned against the wall. An old birdcage hung from the ceiling, containing a silhouette of a bird in flight, cut out of a Mylar sheet. A cobalt blue LED was installed inside the birdcage, which was programmed to pulse slowly, resembling a human heartbeat. A slight movement of the cage made a silhouette of a bird to appear and disappear as a large shadow on the concrete wall as the light emitted a dark blue color. Furthermore the light pulsation made a small birdcage cast a large shadow, filling the wall and the ceiling with a shadow of a birdcage, creating a haunting image of confinement, while the sounds of local Turkish birds filled the space.

Birdhouse (Hallway & Large room with speaker cabinets)

Upon ascending the staircase and passing through the hall- way, the bird songs emerged again from the far end of the large rooms. The woofers and tweeters were removed from the speaker cabinets, leaving them to look like birdhouses. A total of seven empty speaker cabinets were installed in the large room, filling the bright space with the sound of the bird songs. Birds cannot enter, nor can the children escape the room.

Counting with the Moon (Medical Room)

In the waiting room of the medical facility of the prison, an image of the artist’s hands holding a moon was printed on vinyl and hung in front of the window, casting the shadow of the window’s bars from behind, similar to a large light box. Opposite the image was a TV monitor, representing an image of a moon held between the artist’s lips. The moon rotated twenty-eight times in a loop, suggesting the phases of the moon. Since the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar calendar, this piece is about time and the endless counting prisoners must endure as they wait in the prison, especially in a medical facility, where this piece is installed.