[onsens] is an intercultural project to create a series of site-specific ‘onsen’ installations, experienced collectively as a sensory tour within Sydney.
In Japanese culture the 'onsen', or outdoor hotspring bath, has evolved over the centuries to become an icon of sensory pleasure. Every onsen is different, and each offers some unique attraction - a hidden mountain location, a rare architectural feature, an exquisite view framed by cherry blossoms - such that the experience of each new onsen can be likened to an ongoing 'tour of the senses'.
The [onsens] project aims to bring this notion of the onsen to the Australian context, and with local creators to design and build a vernacular onsen tour of the senses. Its objectives cover both aesthetic goals of art installation and cross-cultural goals of exchange and collaboration, contributing to the 2006 Australia-Japan Year of Exchange. The project consists of two main phases:
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