The last thing one would expect at the world’s busiest station is a resting area. As the heartbeat of Japan, Shinjuku East Square now welcomes frequent travelers with a community art park that allows one to truly take a breather.
Created by Japanese artist Tomokazu Matsuyama in collaboration with East Japan Railway Company (JR), the new space is now coined as the ‘Metro–Bewilder’ (a word that encompasses the ideas of the city (‘metro’), nature (‘wild’), and bemusement (‘bewilder’)). What one would see is not only a neat circle of bar chairs but also an 8-meter-high monumental sculpture.
The sculpture ‘Hanao-San’ stands proudly in the center of this ambitious permanent art project. Depicting a boy holding a bouquet, the motif represents a welcoming gesture but contrasts itself with the world’s extreme division. Made with mirrors, the sculpture hopes to inspire a deeper understanding of the Japanese heritage and for all to pay more attention to the aesthetics of nature through contemporary means. The floor of the space features flower graphics that further emphasizes the points mentioned. On top of that, Matsuyama has appropriated floral patterns from different cultural elements to highlight the need for evolution and global exchange. The visual impact of this art park is not static, as those moving around the space will be reflected from the sculpture, creating a spatial connection as well as forming an interesting melting point for different strangers to “linger, converse and meditate, before they disappear into streets of the cosmopolitan city again.”