Tina O'Connell


project website link

Most moving of all, however, is Office of Experiment's 1x1 comprised of 1,000 small vials of "tears," water collected in Japan after the earthquake. Visitors are encouraged to pour the water on a cherry tree bringing about a symbolic rebirth. This act also reflects what Tokyo's mayor hoped to do a century ago: promote an international exchange between the two continents encouraging new life and friendships to blossom. As evidenced this weekend, the vibrant 5x5 project is the start of a new era of tradition.

Interview Magazine, April 2012.

Commissioned by the Washington DC Arts and Humanities Commission for the Centenary Celebrations of the Cherry Blossom Festival. This project was developed by Tina O'Connell with Neal White of the Office of Experiments. The project was selected as part of Steve Rowell proposal called 'Suspension of Disbelief' which also included the work of Lize Mogel (USA), Kunstrepublik (DE), Charles Stankievich (CA) and Deborah Stratman & Steve Badgett (USA).

Project Elements:
Installation at Transformer Gallery P District, Washington DC and personal memorials.

Transformer Gallery acted as the central hub for this project. Water, brought into the USA in small flasks from Japan was decanted into 1000 small vials and arranged in a specially constructed crate, displayed in the gallery wondow. Introduced to the concept of the vials contaning what might be termed 'tears', the visitors to the gallery were given further information on the disaster, and were allowed to take away one vial. They were asked to place a tear onto a Cherry Tree and could, if they liked, email an image which would be added to the project website. In reality, it was discovered that for many people, the act became a private moment and memorial of emotional significance.

Website and Interventions
The website of the 1x1 project documented a further spatio-temporal intervention. Having established the locations of a number of sites with either direct or indirect link to the earthquake and disaster in Japan: Japanese Cultural Center, Japanese Memorial gardens (WWII), Nuclear Saftey Department and Nuclear Energy lobbying groups, Global Media and Disaster Management Centers, photographs were taken of these with an unfurled image familiar to many from newspaper and media reports. This image, acquired from Reuters, had been circulated widely across global media networks and featured a large ship marooned atop a harbour building at one of the devasted sites in Otsuchi. Documentation of the sites were posted along with further information on the image and its location on the project website.


A vial of tears - imported water from Japan. In front of The Washington Monument.


A vial at the Jefferson Memorial prior to watering a Cherry Blossom Tree.


Preparing the vials for display and archiving with Akemi and Tan.


The coyright image purchased from Rueters was displayed at sites relevant to the Fukushima DIaichi disater following the Japanese Tsunami. Site: The Japanese Memorial Gardens.


A vial about to be poured outside the Red Cross, close to the White House.


Detail of the Splash Print. Sold for fundraising via the Irish Embassy. A limited edition are still available.


Working together - our cultural translators - Akemi and Ebony at Transformer Gallery, Washington DC.


With thanks to many others - on the project website above.

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