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Akio Suzuki's Space In The Sun has been demolished

Built in Kyotango city in Japan, the work was victim to disputes with cattle farm employees

Akio Suzuki's self built listening point Hinatabokko No Kukan or Space In The Sun (1988 – 2017) was demolished on 8 November. Built just under 30 years ago on a hilltop in Kyotango city in the Tango region outside of Kyoto, the piece comprised a brick floor and two brick walls, creating a space in which to listen to the area it inhabited. It took 18 months to complete the structure with Suzuki working alongside his then-wife Junko Wada and others, and consisted of 10,000 handmade earthen bricks. He has envisioned the work to deteriorate naturally over time, however recent disputes with the local cattle farm and it's employees had questioned the safety of the construction due to recent deterioration and typhoon damage. However, a collaborator of Suzuki, Aki Onda, tells us there had been no clear evidence that the structure was dangerous and that it has been demolished in less than 24 hours of the decision being made.

Space in the Sun, September, 1988. Photo by Junko Wada

Space In The Sun, Suzuki says, was inspired by Debussy’s La Mer. “I thought Debussy was sitting in front of the sea for a day,” he explains, “but I had never done such things before. I never used time like that before.”

On completion, Suzuki spent the best part of 23 September 1988 making use of Space In The Sun. He recalls, “I acquired through this bodily experience, the skill to become one with nature, like the trees that surrounded me.”

“Although in recent years Space In The Sun has been in disrepair, the piece existed for sonic pilgrims who wanted a space for their own listening”, explains writer Chris Kennedy. “While the end product was fascinating—the idea of sitting for a day in one place to listen to the world—the amount of labour that it took to build it was of equal importance in Suzuki’s work. Suzuki’s art is also about the work that he does to get to this place of listening.”

Space In The Sun, 8 November, 2017​. Photo by Hiromi Miyakita