ART EXTENSION: Masao Okabe, Hastings Street Frottage Sample, marking chalk (oil chalk) on polyester cloth, 1988.
ART EXTENSION: Masao Okabe, Hastings Street Frottage Sample, marking chalk (oil chalk) on polyester cloth, 1988.

Artist returns for Floating Land

ACCLAIMED Japanese artist Masao Okabe will return to Noosa for Floating Land: Point to Point – more than 30 years after his first visit to the shire, which helped launch his career.

In 1988, Okabe worked with Noosa residents, shopkeepers and passersby to produce a 150m artwork of iconic Hastings St.

“That was a pivotal moment in Okabe’s career.

“He went on to create similarly inspired works with communities around the world.

“In fact, since 1988 community engagement has become central to his practice,” Noosa Regional Gallery director Michael Brennan said.

“I’m thrilled that we have been able to invite an artist of Masao Okabe’s stature back to Noosa to participate in Floating Land.”

Again working with local artists and the broader community, Okabe will return to some of the sites from his earlier visit to create new works that document how Noosa has changed.

“Art in my opinion is about how to interact with community. That is art’s most important purpose,” Okabe said.

Mr Brennan said Okabe was keen to apply this technique to tree surfaces throughout Noosa.

“It will be an extension of a body of work from around the world, including Hiroshima, where Okabe traced the surface of a cluster of trees that survived the 1945 atomic blast,” he said.

“This visit continues Noosa Regional Gallery’s effort to bring the best of creative practitioners from around the country – and this case around the world – to Noosa for locals to work with and learn from.”