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Andrew Haines writes:
"My inspiration for this sculpture is the famous woodblock print “The Great Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa.” It was published in Japan around 1830 as one of a series of 36 prints with views of Mount Fuji. Despite “The Great Wave” print being one of the most reproduced artworks in the world, the artist Hokusai is not well known outside Japan.
Based on the size of the boats in the picture it has been estimated that the wave is between 10 to 12 metres high. In planning my sculpture I have referenced the March 2011 Tsunami that devastated large areas of Japan, including the Fukushima Nuclear Power station. The height of the wave at Fukushima is not known for certain. The Japanese company responsible for the power station suggests that the wave was 14 metres high. The American Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in a report designed to reassure Americans that U.S. power stations are safe, talks of a wave of 8 metres. In Hokusai’s print, wave height has been estimated at 10 to 12 metres, based on the size of the boats in the picture.
Living in a low-lying country like Denmark, even a wave height of ‘only’ 8 metres would be devastating. I have chosen fish crates as my building material as representative of the town of Hvide Sande.
I hope that my sculpture will give visitors an idea of the height of the Japanese Tsunami, as well as serving as a memorial for the thousands who died.
Many thanks to Fiskeriets Hus, and the various sponsors of this project. Thanks also to Simon Kirk who has helped me build “Bølgen”, and to Alice Mikkelsen who agreed to install her artwork “Mænd og Havet” here together with “Bølgen”.
Note: In traditional Japanese painting, pictures like text were ‘read’ from right to left and hence Hokusai’s Great Wave, designed to fall into the view’s face, would appear far more menacing than it does to Western viewers who do not ‘read’ pictures from any specific direction."