The attraction I feel when I stand before a cliff arises from witnessing the accumulated, concentrated evidence of the Earth’s activity, accomplished under the influence of the universe over an incomprehensible timespan and, with it, the traces of countless life forms. 
Like languages, none of the innumerable lacerations carved into the rock face is the same, 
and as I contemplate how they were formed by the inexorable force of waves and upheavals of the Earth’s crust, 
I wonder if the sprites of the magma might suddenly appear from out of nowhere like a haze of heat. 

In Buddhism, the guardian deity of this shimmering haze is called Marici, the child of heat and wind. 
Natural phenomena that exceed human understanding have been feared since the age when Shintoism and Buddhism were entwined. 
Unexpectedly, these sprites appear to be carrying something that hearkens back to the Jomon culture. 

The face of the rock in the afternoon, in the evening, and alongside the water seems to resonate with the embers of magma burning deep within my own body and spirit, awakening me anew to my existence within the life of this planet.

I made collages from photographs of cliffs I took along the Shirasaki coast and the Sandanbeki cliffs in Wakayama Prefecture and the Tatsukushi coast in Kochi Prefecture. My work on this project was aided by the deeply resonant ambient music of Ryuichi Sakamoto.

                                                                                                                                                    -Eriko Kaniwa

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