Tokyo-based artist Ryotaro Muramatsu has made his US debut of DANDELION right here in San Francisco’s Japantown. This free interactive art installation is a stunning way to unite people around the world, in which visitors can “blow” on the dandelion installation, sending virtual seeds as a symbol of peace to another dandelion elsewhere in the world. It’s up now in the Japan Center West Mall, Suite 315, from 12-7pm Friday-Sunday until January 21.
This stunning exhibit is meant to unite people around the world using art and technology in the form of the iconic dandelion sculpture accompanied by projection mapping. Visitors to the luminous installation can use their smartphones to add their name to a dandelion seed, and then “blow” on the dandelion to send their seeds to another DANDELION far away. They can then see an image on their phone, showing their seed blossoming into a flower at another installation across the world.
Muramatsu created DANDELION in 2020 in an effort to unite people around the world during the Covid pandemic. To date, 665,095 people have participated in 19 chosen cities, including Tokyo, Singapore, and Paris.
San Francisco’s Japantown was chosen to be the site of DANDELION’s US debut, due to being one of the world’s most historic Japanese neighborhoods. Japantown’s Peace Plaza is home to the Peace Pagoda, which was donated to the city by Japan in 1968 following World War II. The dandelion, a symbol of peace, is a fitting companion to this Japantown landmark.
“Our world has changed in so many ways since the beginning of 2020. I wonder about the possibilities of changes that might occur in the way we connect with one another,” said Muramatsu. “… DANDELION is an art piece that connects people around the world with a very simple physical act. I am fond of it, as it embodies the simplicity of making a wish on a dandelion: a childhood memory we can all relate to… Flowers need no words. They are completely impartial. Their seeds fly to new places and bloom there. I hope we can go beyond the constraints of race, nationality, or belief, to connect with one another through art and plant flowers of peace throughout the world.”
Be sure to see DANDELION in San Francisco’s Japantown, located in Suite 315 at the Japan Center West Mall. It will be up on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12-7pm until January 21. The exhibition is free, but visitors are encouraged to make a donation to the Heart of JTown Resiliency Fund.
Featured image: Courtesy of DANDELION