The White Building Washing, 2012 By Masaru Iwai

The White Building Washing, 2012
3-channel synchronized HD video, 11mn 30s

Masaru Iwai spent seven weeks doing a residency with Sa Sa Art Projects where he assisted in engaging with Sa Sa Art Projects’ students in developing a plan for exhibition and realizing the presentation of their works in the neighborhood. He also developed a relationship with the neighbouring residents and subsequently proposed and organised a “cleaning day” with the residents. Below is an excerpt from his note:

“I’m lying in bed, listening to the sounds coming in from 360° all around me. The songs of birds (What time is it?), the crying of a baby (It’s been crying forever.), the drip-drop of leaking water (When is it going to stop?), the yells of people playing football (It’s noisy.), the honking horns of cars (What happened?), the barking of a dog (Go somewhere else.), the footsteps of children running around on the floor (In stereo sound.), shouting voices (What’s wrong?), the plodding of feet along the corridor (Is someone coming?), the low bass sound reverberating endlessly from the floor (It’s making me sick.).

Sticky, viscous time flows on, passing in no time at all.

The White Building was probably a cutting edge in the 60s, but today the modern exterior wall is filled with cracks that have plants sprouting out of them. Moto-taxi drivers laugh at it bitterly, and for foreign tourists it makes for the perfect photograph of impoverished Cambodia.

Looking at it from the street, the White Building emits a strange light that gives foreboding air. At this time of day in particular there are all manners of smell. I never encountered any real danger, though. As I grow accustomed to this place and involve myself in the community, little by little I gain an understanding of the kind of people its residents are. Call it an art, but it is certainly a worldly wisdom.”

Masaru Iwai