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The Stream Series

Films by Hiroya Sakurai

The total duration of 13 films : 74 minutes

In the man-made waterways of rice paddies, the water in nature must follow artificial rules. In that way, nature is made abstract, giving rise to a new form of beauty distinct from the natural state. The theme of this work is the liveliness of the water as it follows the man-made course.

This work is a ballet using the sound and the movement of the algae and water. With the waterway as the theater, I filmed the choreography of the algae that flows in the water.

In “The Stream XII”, produced in February 2022, I focused on rice paddies. 
In the recent work, “The Stream XII-Ⅱ”, the focus of my interest is shifted to reed fields, and landscape of reed fields burned by human beings is added.Human beings act on nature in order to keep their lives. From their activities, several streams are generated and landscapes are transformed.
I focus on the beauty of transformation created through the relation between human activities and nature, and want to express the beauty as a kind of visual ballet.

​2022, 04min. 55 sec.

The Stream XII-II


For the twelfth film in the series “The Stream”, I did not limit the stream to liquids, but extended it to include the air. I shot wind, flames, smoke and clouds as motifs representing the air.


I incorporated aerial shots using a drone as a way to express the wind more visually. When I shot the reeds on the banks of a big river from 80m above the ground, the reeds waved in the wind like waves on the sea. As for the flames, I shot how they created a flow of air that was accompanied by smoke. The smoke converges with the clouds in the sky and becomes rain, which in turn becomes water on the ground. In this series, I have focused on the beauty of nature juxtaposed with

the artificial. In this work, I chose the reed fields as a place that is maintained and managed by humans for the production of building materials and daily products. The beautiful landscape of the paddy fields is also a place for the efficient production of food.


In this way, I have expressed “stream” as a symbiotic cooperation between humans and nature.

​2022, 03 min. 57 sec.

The Stream XII


In episode 11 of The Stream, I consider why water streams are created. Water flowing through waterways is necessary for the cultivation of crops. Agricultural products are mainly produced for human consumption and are sold and distributed in the marketplace, where crops are cultivated again with the profits are earned. It is the economy and

the distribution of goods that create the flow of water, which circulates in society through transportation and information networks.


Fields are separated by transportation networks and rivers. Waterways are laid out to transport water from rivers to farmland like blood vessels. The transportation network, which governs logistics including the distribution of agricultural products, is connected to highways and rises as a monument in a giant circle. On the highways there is a never-ending stream of vehicles traveling and circulating to maintain human society.


In addition, fields are home to a diverse range of living organisms, forming ecosystems that utilize the environment created by human society.

​2020, 07 min. 50 sec.

The Stream XI



The Stream X

​2019, 06min. 47sec.

In episode 10 of The Stream, I tried

an experiment in which environmental sound in the water is replaced with environmental sound from outside the waterway.

As a result, the viewer experiences

the sound of the wind as

an underwater environmental sound.

The wind moves the aquatic plants and pushes along objects floating on

the water.


My purpose was to use the expression of the wind as a metaphor for

the stream and to impress the viewer with the liveliness of water, which is the theme of this work.


The Stream IX

​2018, 05min. 36sec.

In episode 9 of The Stream, I focus on

the bubbles of oxygen that are generated in the waterway.

The bubbles of oxygen are generated by algae, phytoplankton and plants through photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to create their food, grow and release oxygen.


The Stream VIII


In episode 8 of The Stream,I focus on the origin of the stream in

the waterway

at the rice field. The stream is produced by a man-made pump, which draws underground water to the surface and carries it to the rice field. The water in

the rice field then drains through

a huge drainage pump station that feeds into a large river.


The Stream VII

I shot this with a waterproof camera on a slider dolly . Using this device

I created a simulated experience of walking through the waterway for

the viewer.
This time I focused on the expression of
the movement of the sand in

the waterway and the reflection of the surface ripples on the waterway's inside walls.


The Stream VI


This work is a ballet using the sound and the movement of waterweeds and water.

When editing the recording, I retained only the frequency that sounds like

a person’s voice. The resulting sound that the audience hears is like

a chorus.


The Stream V


This work is a ballet using the sound and the movement of waterweeds and water.

With the waterway as the theater,

I filmed the choreography of waterweeds that flows in the water.


The Stream IV

A musical using a sound and

the movement of the flowing water.
Bubbles,waterweeds,fish and floaters are performers.
A waterproof camera was put at

the bottom of a river, and the lens was pointed in the sky.

This video image communicates both the diversity of expression and liveliness of the water.
This shooting location was Ogura-ike Pond Reclaimed Land in Uji City,Kyoto Prefecture.


The Stream III


I used an iPhone to film a drain hole on a bridge over a canal. Since

the iPhone's camera lens is about 2mm in diameter,

I was able to film the landscape directly below through the slits of

the drain hole. With the drain hole acting as the amphitheater, I filmed the choreography of the sand and water.


The Stream II


This video is composed of the lines that are formed at the points where the surface of the flowing water comes in contact with the walls of those waterways. I have put moving images of ten different lines, each taken from a different area, in a row on the screen.

By arranging them in this way we can compare the color, shape, sound, texture and speed of the adjacent lines. This composite video image communicates both the diversity of expression and liveliness of the water as it follows the man-made course.

the stream 2_still.jpg
the stream 2_01.jpg

The Stream I


This video work shooting whirlpools is constructed in double flames which are played different time. The viewers can compare the shape of water in one side of flame with another one. There are water flows formed in complex mechanism.


​2014, 05min. 38sec.

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