japanese artist toshihiko shibuya continues to create art alongside nature with the 13th edition of his ongoing ‘snow pallet’ series. this winter shibuya has installed 70 colored objects in the courtyard of sapporo park hotel in sapporo, japan. the site-specific artwork seeks to resonate with nature and highlight the heavy snowfalls of hokkaido. 

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

images courtesy of toshihiko shibuya

‘art in a natural context all depends on the weather, but I think that is how it should be. there’s nothing we can do to tame mother nature. I aim not to control nature, but nestle close to it, to use it cleverly,’  explains the artist.

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

‘snow pallet 13’ was first installed on december 1st, 2020. the 70 objects vary in shape and height and the underside of each one is painted in fluorescent paint. the paint casts colored reflections onto the surface of the clean white snow, which serves as the perfect blank canvas. 

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

the colored reflections are like little lights, which stay mostly the same throughout the day. on the other hand, the shadows of the objects change according to the time of day and the strength of the sun. toshihiko shibuya says, ‘it is an installation that changes the landscape according to the time of the day, to the amount of snow and sunlight, and to the number of objects and different heights. I think of it as ‘time – scape land art.’

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

the installation will remain in place until the snow eventually thaws in march. until then, guests can enjoy the vivid colors and changing geometry from the garden or from the southwestern windows on the third to the tenth floor of the hotel. shibuya hopes to convey ‘memories of past landscapes’ while also reflecting on global warming and climate change. ‘I started the snow pallet project in 2011. the snowfall has been decreasing year by year. we have often irregular snowfall, varying from heavy snow to no snow in a short cycle in late years. I think that global warming is interlinked with climate change. environmental issues are an urgent matter for all human beings. what direction is the earth heading? where will we be in the future?’

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

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toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

toshihiko shibuya casts colored reflections with art installation in japan designboom

project info:

project name: snow pallet 13

location: courtyard of sapporo park hotel, sapporo, hokkaido, japan

artist: toshihiko shibuya

date: december 1st, 2020 – the thaw of march 2021

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: lynne myers | designboom