top of page
sp 004.jpg
sp 100.jpg
sp 005.jpg

Ryo Yamada <Cellar Garden>

Ⅾerelict underground Cellar are re-intensified as Private Garden by “Mirror Water Lily”

opening exhibition title:

山田良展 [ Site Preoccupation /

現場に居ることに興味がある ]

With the countless number of unused and forgotten building foundations in the urban area, I envisioned the idea of transforming the desolate spaces into artful masterpieces. In this project, one of the building foundations is reborn as a private garden with a collection of "Mirror Water Lilies" which I designed just for this space.


- Out-of-sight spaces under concrete buildings - 


My idea of transforming underground spaces applies to the area situated in the lowest part of the basement under a majority of the concrete buildings in Japan. The underground spaces are mystically dark and enticing, which allows visitors to feel like they have stepped into another world.


- 450 of my original "Mirror Water Lilies" installed in an underground cellar space -


I solely designed and produced this magnificent 120 square meter private garden in the building’s foundation. The garden consists of 450 of my original and uniquely shaped "Mirror Water Lily" objects arranged beautifully on the floor. There is a wooden passage that is 50 meters in overall length that spreads throughout space. As the visitors walk through the garden, they can enjoy seeing the lilies dance from the vibration of their footsteps on the wooden passage.


- Building foundation reborn as a private garden-


The dense basement ceiling reflects in the mirrors and the reflection gives the visitors an illusional sense of a much deeper space. It provides a peacefulness where one can meditate and feel like they are in a world no one has ever been permitted to enter.


Each "Mirror Water Lily" fluidly fluctuates, reflects and vibrates with minimal light and creates a magical and distinctive underground space just like a cave or an underground lake.  


This is not just another underground space, but a unique and captivating world hidden deep under a concrete building.

Client: CAI-Contemporary Art Institute / CAI03

Function: Private Garden

Completion: 2021


Film & Edit: Neil Hartmann

Special Thanks: Y. Miyazaki (Iron welding), Y. Kamimori (Artistic & Construction Director), Crew of Sapporo City University, Ryo Yamada Studio: T. Funayama, F. Minoshima, H. Narita, M. Yakuwa, R. Murakawa, M. Izumi, A. Moriya, K, Kitayama, K. Itoh, A. Izumi, R, Satoh

005 Mirror Water Lily fluctuates and reflects minimal light, creating a unique underground
R0039245 2.jpg

plan & first sketch

Plan Fountain(地下)  s.jpg
Pers Fountain 001 s.jpg
bottom of page