For centuries it’s been sakura blossoms - and not the calendar - that mark the beginning of spring for Japan. When pale white and pink petals first cover the cherry trees and later the ground, the Japanese celebrate Hanami – sakura admiration.
The square by Manege’s western facade offers Overcoming. Sakura, a new street art project. This installation consists of 7 ice columns pierced by blooming sakura. The seven columns take us back to the front portico of Manege. It’s traditions and modernity, Japanese and Russian culture coming together at the new evolution stage, which is even more important during the year of cultural exchange between Russia and Japan.
The tradition to admire sakura in bloom dates back to the 3rd century B.C. This short process that lasts only 7 to 10 days was believed to have a deeper meaning. Sakura admirers contemplated on life’s brevity and perceived the falling petals as the symbol of their attitude to beauty: its value is rooted in its transience and evanescence. It vanishes before it becomes routine and habitual.
Sakura in ice will appear by Manege in the last month of the winter. It will become an overture to Hanami celebration and the spring itself. The seemingly unbreakable walls that hide the symbol of the Japanese culture are apparently just as ephemeral as the life of cherry blossoms. The ice will inevitable melt in the city environment turning into a metaphor of overcoming. And this time it’s overcoming oneself, which is a prerequisite for diving into a new culture, a culture so different from anything we’re used to.
The project is supported by Takeda Russia and is part of a larger integrated project called Takeda. Pain and Will that aims to help develop palliative help and new medical technology.