From a distance they resemble winter snow palaces. But those who approach Yoshiaki Kaihatsu's large and luminous sculptures encounter styrofoam as building material. Not just any styrofoam but molded packaging material that once protected consumer goods from damage in transit. Under Kaihatsu's hands, it transforms into temples, a tea house or abstract sculptures that can all be entered. Like UFOs, these architectures glow from within, giving them a touch of science-fiction. In a "negative" way, they represent two things at the same time. On the one hand, they are literally negative forms. On the other, their material and lighting include the ambiguities and uncertainties of a "bright future".
The artist faced the dangers of such a future directly with a work not made from styrofoam. This time Kaihatsu built a small wooden house near the evacuated village of Idate, not far from the reactor ruin of Fukushima. He invited politicians to stay there to reflect on the consequences of the devastating tsunami and other tragic events such as 9/11. Yoshiaki Kaihatsu has once compared his art with social service, which he conceives not as objects but as tools "that are immediately recognized by every viewer as works of art, in an effort to develop new forms of expression."