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Mirror of Water

The Artwork, Mirror of Water

Next to Japanese artist Mariko Mori’s Burning Desire and Kumano, another glassprint artwork named Mirror of Water is well known in her repertoire. Once again, Mori breaths live into her work using her own image, which is like in some of her other works, repeated throughout the canvas. 

Mirror of Water (1996-1998) was photographed in a French cave, which is sculpted by water over millions of years. Mori wants to suggest, using her own repeated self-portrait, that the self is part of a continuous chain of life, death, dissolution, and rebirth. Human consciousness follows this endless cycle from the eternal past to the eternal future, just as the cave takes its endlessly changing shape from the water flowing through it. These multiple self-images are to be regarded as the same individual at eight different moments; the twins and triplets represent various aspects of this person at a given moment. What Mori calls the ‘UFO’ in the right half of the picture houses a variety of rooms, including an egg-shaped ‘tea ceremony room of the future’. [1] 

Mirror of Water is once again an artwork in which Mori chooses to mix the spiritual with the futuristic, a theme which she obviously likes and returns in a lot of her artworks.
The artwork seems to be part of a certain series. In glassprints like Burning Desire, Kumano and Last Departure also feature Mori herself as a spiritual figure that is copied throughout the work (as in Burning Desire and Last Departure) or where she plays multiple characters (as in Kumano, which also had a video installation version next to the glassprint) . Together with Mori’s artworks Entropy of Love, Burning Desire and Pure Land, this work is part of a quadrilogy that shows the four elements: Air, fire, earth and water [2]. 

Mirror of Water is once again a fascinating artwork by Mori that tingles the imagination and that uses electronic media to capture spirituality in a picture. 



[2]: Edward A. Shanken’s Art and Electronic Media, page 93.

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