You are new November, old in eternal change

Single channel video, 1920×1080, 24fps, Stereo sound, 12’01” , 2021

The main subject of this visual poem is a plant native to North America, the Canadian goldenrod, which is very common in the outdoors in Japan, and is a visual poem about homeland, origins, migration of humans and other life, and time. Back around 1900, plant was artificially introduced to Japan from North America, and after the war it spread to other parts of Japan where it is now one of the most ubiquitous and familiar plants. Coincidentally, the time when this plant crossed the ocean with humans coincided with the birth of sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988), who had two identities: one in Japan and the other in the United States just as same as the Canadian goldenrod.
The video begins with the cleaning of leaves in a tatami room and the insects escaping from them, then shows Canadian goldenrod flowers that arranged in a jar, and the nature of the park, Kodomo-no-Kuni , in Yokohama city where Isamu Noguchi installed his works (playground equipments) in the mid-1960s. A spider that are living inside of Noguchi’s works, the light, the walk etc., are interspersed with the Canadian goldenrod alternately. As the video progresses, the arranged flowers are removed from their bottles and the timeline is switched. At the end, we see a full field of wildflowers, followed by the Canadian goldenrod flowers on the tatami mats just before they are arranged in the vase. There are questions about home, origins, and the migration of human and living things, as well as about time. The title of this work is Hayama’s personal homage to a line from the 18th century female poet Karoline von Günderrode’s poem “Sieht den Naturgeist immer neu / Und immer alt in ew’gen Wandel”. Hayama notes that this passage in the poem relates to her interpretation of nature, which is that “nature will exist in a different form than human representations.”

This video work was produced for the digital public program of Isamu Noguchi’s exhibition at the Barbican Center (UK) from 30 Sep 2021 – 9 Jan 2022 and was presented online in November of 2021..

Curated by Annie Jeal Kwan
Organised and curated:
Barbican Centre (London)
Museum Ludwig (Cologne)
Zentrum Paul Klee (Bern)
Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut