Adventure in the darkness created by Imagination and Science.

Underground Exhibition

“Underground” – a photo book by Hideaki Uchiyama has been getting attention as a remarkable way to tell the attraction of underground. Have we ever thought about what happening in underground is in our daily life?
An exhibition which lights up uncharted territory “UNDERGROUND – Adventure in the darkness created by Imagination and Science” is held at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), a science museum which focuses on advanced science and running very interesting trials.

Underground Exhibition

The hall is made of foam polystyrene. The more you go into the hall along the route, the deeper you go into, that is their attempt. Foam polystyrene is the nearest eco materialfor us, more than 70% of the material is recyclable. It was chosen to reduce the amount of rubbish, it shows not only advanced science, but their effort for making better the environment of the earth.

Underground Exhibition

An animation by Groovisions is projected on the floor of the entrance. We see the image zooms in gradually from the space to the earth, then a manhole of the underworld, and finally they open the lid of the underworld. Various creators participated with this exhibition to make us more curious to the journey to underground. The sound effect is also amazing, we have Yosihide Otomo for a sound direction, Itoken, Sachiko M also took part in this section. The music already has value to go there, they broaden the view of the exhibition at each hall.

Underground Exhibition

The exhibition is consisted of 18 sections, they introduce us various things depend on the altitude. Underground facilities, resources, the remarkable things that modern science has found about living things in underground,etc. Very fun and easy way of exhibit, so it makes us want to know about it more and more.

Underground Exhibition

For example, a huge underground passage called “communal ditch” in “Deep Subterranean” -facilities spreaded out under Tokyo city. Under the ground where we can’t see, water, electricity, and network are all over in the space to support our modern life. Not only high rise buildings which we have been building so many amounts, but underground is getting possible to live for human.

Underground Exhibition

Besides, it is said that the underground is comparatively stable environment in the earth. Various experiments using such a characteristic are being done.The project that preserves a food seed all over the world under the soil covered with the permafrost layer is done in Sbalbal island in Norway.
There is no need to say the size of the scale of the project, and the the name the “Noah’s Catafne project” is SF world already, but it is real project. Preservation using the underground is being done in Japan as well, and the time capsule is made when we had the Osaka Expo in 1970 and it is preserved under the soil.I hear that it will be opened in 5000 years later. It is a project that feels the time of the eternity.

Underground Exhibition

About the beggining of life, there is a theory that it happend in the ocean, but apart from that they introduce us a theory that the clay mineral that forms the underground connect the molecule which is the base of life.

Underground Exhibition

The underground exhibition shows that the new possibility about global warming as well. We could image a completely different image of the earth when we change our view; looking down the earth from space and looking up the earth from underworld. We don’t usual ly think of anything when we walk, but enormous things are happening beneath our feet.

The underworld has a very unique passage of time, a dynamic life, and the history of the earth and space, and they are still going on actively.
Lastly, let me introduce five rules we can see at the construction office which are expressed the awe of the underworld that human have.

1 Feel the earth
Underworld is the womb of the earth, think like it is the internal organs and let yourself go into there.

2 Know the earth pressure
Recognise that underworld is foam in soil consists of the balance of the pressure of a huge soil.

3 Close your eyes
Close your eyes when you arrive the underworld, look into the darkness. and yourself.

4 Think about the volume of the past history
Imagine there is accumulation of time which is beyond all our imagination.

5 Look at the sky
When you get out the underworld, look at the sky. Inhale the immensity of the sky and exhale the time.

-from the five rules of experience of underworld for geographers

Very philosophical words as Pom (an old guy in LAPUTA: Castle in the Sky) might say, they must be based on the real experience by people who work there.

Underground Exhibition

In “Underground exhibition”, there are many interesting events like ” Ask the expert of underground!” which they invited a guest speaker. I would reccomend you to check their website and have a look the schedule.
What is hidden in the underworld which connects past and future?

UNDERGROUND – Adventure in the darkness created by Imagination and Science
Date: 22nd September, 2007 – 1st January, 2008
Place: National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
Address: 2-41, Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064
Tel: +81-3-3570-9151
Admission fee: Adults: 900 yen / 18 and under: 350 yen (Permanent Exhibition can also be viewed), Group (8 or more people): Adults: 800 yen / 18 and under: 310 yen
* Free admission for those in possession of a Disability Book and one accompanying person
Sponsor: National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Design and produce: Natio nal Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

Text and photos: Yasuharu Motomiya
Translation: Junko Isogawa

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