“その 向こうの 気這い” 

- The Sign of Beyond -

 

The part of the English title “The Sign” is a translation of “気這い(Kehai)” in the Japanese title. 

“気這い(Kehai)”, which is currently written as “気配(Kehai)” using different characters, is not a word of Chinese origin but originated from the native Japanese word “けわい(Kewai)” which was later transformed into “気這い(Kehai)” and eventually changed into the character we’re using nowadays. 

“気這い(Kehai)” means the atmosphere or appearance of something that be felt only vaguely. It has the same meaning as “気配(Kehai)”, but it also implies the contemplation of that which exists beyond. To contemplate that which exists beyond is to create something in our mind that is beyond “The Sign” that we have received from our surroundings.

By titling the exhibition as “気這い” instead of using a common character “気配”, it enhances the sensation of “contemplating that which exists beyond”.

I sometimes pay attention to “The Sign” even when I place myself in a safe place.

Some years ago, a strong earthquake struck Japan and it also caused huge damage to the Kanto region where I live. 

I remember on the morning of that day, before the quake struck, feral cats were not appearing in their territories and dogs were doing nothing but digging up soil while walking. I found out later that that unusual animal behavior can be a premonition of a disaster. As I looked back, it seemed like an ordinary day, as peaceful as usual, but there might have been “The Sign” which alerted me to the danger.

Year by year I notice typhoons becoming more intense and earthquakes occurring more frequently, and I have become more observant of my surroundings and begun to anticipate things which might arise from beyond what I can see.

 

If you perceive “The Sign” when you are surrounded by the ordinary, try to imagine what gives you that feeling. Even in an ordinary scene that looks peaceful and harmonious on the surface, there might be something hidden beyond your imagination which has yet to arise.