Even though many people might not be familiar with the name or purpose of a Japanese gate, the shape of these structures are recognized as an important part of Asian culture and history. Traditionally, these Torii gates are placed as markers near shrines, signifying the transition from the profane to the sacred.
Now, artist Benoît Maubrey is using these structures as the inspiration for his installation at Meriken Park this fall at the Kobe Biennale.
The traditional Torii will be made out of 300 recycled loudspeakers and will serve as an interactive sculpture through which people can play music and express themselves vocally. Four people at once will be able to connect to the four-channel speaker system and speak through a microphone or through their smartphones and Bluetooth technology. In the artist's words, this piece is intended to be a gate "where the spirits are more likely to hear your prayers."