the japan alps art festival welcomes australian artist james tapscott’s latest installation, ‘arc zero’ — a ring of mist encircling a bridge that crosses a little river below it. ‘my work explores the link between subjective and objective reality, and the effect our perception has on our understanding of the world around us.’ explains tapscott, ‘by using simple materials, and light I seek to create a balance between a ritualistic artistic process and natural phenomena’. the shape of the work represents the cyclical journey of the water, through all states, down the mountain, and back up again as evaporated mist.

the japan alps art festival is located in the town of omachi in the spectacular japanese alps



james tapscott‘s installation is a steel ring at 6 meters in diameter installed on site with integrated misting nozzles and lighting and clad in laser cut acrylic mirror to help it blend in with the surroundings. additionally, it features two layers of LED strips, tuned at slightly different colour temperatures give the cloud of mist an added textural quality as it billows from the ring. during the day the mist works with the ambient conditions to produce crepuscular rays and rainbows around the viewer, while in the darker hours the mist is illuminated from lighting embedded within the structure. a hut nearby houses the many pumps and filters required to get the river water clean and pressurized for the mist.

an angled view of the ring, as the structure all but disappears within the mist

a close up of the installation showing the crepuscular ray effect within the circle

the crepuscular ray effect happens mid-afternoon as the sun starts to poke through the trees at an angle, just before it goes behind the nearby mountains

towards the evening, the lighting within the structure switches on, illuminating the mist

a blazing circle wraps around the bridge as the forest darkens into the night

the source of the river itself is nearby, up in the mountains where the snow is still melting



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

  • Having just been in Japan and seen the pervasive beauty of water there, this is just breathtakingly beautiful!

    Michael Magnotta says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

art news