In summer 2018, Meri Hallenberg worked in Japan painting at different locations around the main island Honshu. The idea behind the work was an aspiration to observe and document the Japanese summer; its heat, richness and endless greenery of the nature - therefore, painting had to happen in the actual locations. Hallenberg spent her days painting in parks, gardens and forests. Instead of documents, the paintings became hand-crafted memories representing not only the image, but the experience of the certain place.
Hallenberg has visited in Japan a few times in the summer time. Each time, the lush green nature awakens the feeling of the same happiness. In Japan, the forest lives on the mountains, rising sharply from the outskirts of urban areas, limiting human habitation to the valleys and plains. It is enormously difficult to hike through these forests, and stepping aside from the path is not an option. Cicadas’ aggressive hullabaloo, the endless amount of other insects, and the uncanny flora make the forest even a little bit scary. And when unexpectedly there appears a temple on the path, it is easy to believe in the spirits of the forest. Fragments of this can be found in urban areas from the small but numerous parks. In the middle of the gray and over populated maze of streets, these deficient paradises lead the spectator back to the greenery which lives on mountains.