Genius loci, which literally means "spirit of the place," is a concept expressing the cultural, historical and social spirit and potential of a location.
Junko Hirano interprets genius loci to mean "thinking about the memories of a place in a manner that transcends space and time."
She explains, "Even if you try to erase the memories rooted in a place, they are left behind in some shape or form. And even if people later try to change that place, I think that some of the
original essence remains, conveyed through the medium of moisture or wind or odor."
The Japan National Stadium is built on land with a rich history, as it was once the location of the Aoyama Parade Grounds, the venue for send-off ceremonies for student draftees during World
War II, and a site used for the previous Tokyo Olympics. Additionally, the National Stadium was built using wood from the trees of all 47 Japanese prefectures, and the nearby Meiji Shrine's
planted forest also comprises trees donated from all of the prefectures, so in a way the newly built stadium serves as an embodiment of local memory̶of the place's genius loci.
This exhibition's works hone in on this genius loci, with the witnesses of the location's historical events, the trees themselves and birds fluttering about in their sanctuary serving as central
elements in the artwork.
The artist used traditional washi paper of varying thicknesses and textures as backing paper in a manner similar to Nihonga Japanese paintings, and then overlapped elements as if they were
photographic layers, representing an experimental approach combining both digital and classical techniques. The results remind one of overlapping memories and interweave techniques ranging
from the classical to the contemporary. Within the monochrome format, which has a tendency to take on a monotonous overall look, the artist has added exquisite coloring and expression