From Ashes

uncovering a city beneath the ashes

From Ashes considers the monsters that haunt us, renewal in the wake of disaster and the rituals that allow us to recover.

Over 2 weeks, participants build a version of their city from paper. In collaboration with a local architect, to-scale buildings are designed to reflect the architecture specific to the location. Over 1000 tiny paper craft buildings are then created by hand, and slowly, the city emerges. Once built, the entire city is covered in ash and during a 2 day durational public installation audience members are invited to slowly brush the ash away from the city in a tender act of repair and recovery.

From Ashes was commissioned by 21st Century Museum, Kanazawa (Japan) and Forest Fringe (UK). The piece developed out of a 4 week residency at the museum, and premiered in Kanazawa in October 2015.

From Ashes is Action Hero’s second durational work (following Slap Talk), but takes a step towards participatory and socially engaged practice. The company’s distinctive and accessible style is translated into a project that works in any language and with any community, taking participants and audience on a meditative journey that enables us all to reflect on the future of our cities in the shadow of a changing climate, nuclear threat and war.

A yellow flash…sky and sea burst into view, painted in flaming sunset colours. White particles were falling on us, just like sleet.

 –Matakichi Oishi, crewman, Lucky Dragon 5.