Brainstorming for our own public art project, I got a lot of inspirations from several public art monuments that I have visited. One of the most memorable one is Uchimura Kanzo Memorial Stone Church in Karuizawa, Japan. Christian philosopher Uchimura Kanzo is the founder of the Non-Church Movement, a religious sect that is created in rejection of the Western preaching and development of Christianity. By focusing on small study groups and emphasizing the appreciation of nature, Kanzo, together with his followers, envisioned and built an unconventional stone church that embodies freedom and a modern representation of religious faith in Japan.
Here’s how author William Hall describes the church:
“It disregards much of ecclesiastical convention. It lacks a transept or a cross of any type, and the nave curves. An organic floor plan, foliage, rocks, a water channel and ribbed skylights conspire to place adherents in an architectural place saturated with formalized ‘nature’. And nothing is more natural here, in this thoroughly modern building, than stone.”