Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

Q. What is the Floating Art?

  Ans. The Floating Art was found by Eimei Okuda while he was working on theater set designs. The idea of placing a mysterious aqua life form on stage was later developed to become the "Floating Art.", an in water art object created from a special resin mixed by Eimei Okuda himself. This resin thin and similar to an organic muscle reacts delicately to the slightest changes in water current, creating a life-like motion. We will continue to producing art objects which "Looking familiar, and yet more mysterious than anything seen before."

Q. How does the Floating Art move like a true life form?

  Ans. The Floating Art is driven by a very small current in the water. The flexible material of the Floating Art will change its shape and motion as it encounters complex current patterns. This is how we achieved motions that made many believe that it is a true life form. Although this current is made from generic water pumps and shower pipes, we have made a large effort (and are still working) in finding suitable directions and strengths for them.

Q. Does "Floating Art refer to the artificial jellyfish?

  Ans. The initial goal of this project was to create an object that moves under water like a true life form. After experimenting with various shapes, the design of Madeleine No.3 turned out to work especially well. It was than later that others mentioned its similarities with jellyfish. Although there were phases when we studied the forms of existing creatures, we think using abstract shapes and letters as bases are the way to go in reaching a new state in art objects.

Q. I've heard about imitations

  Ans. After our work was introduced on NHK-BS (a satellite TV station), imitations were created by several companies, mostly in Korea. However, these are made of a completely different material and can hardly be an equivalent to what we create. Some vicious companies have even used photos of Eimei Okuda along with our work to promote their own imitations. I believe the following photos our enough to explain their difference.

Imitation, artificial jellyfish

Imitation, placed on table

Imitation, placed out of water

Floating Art by Sougeikan

Imitation, placed on table

Imitation, placed out of water

-Comparison Videos-    Left:Imitation Right:Floating Art
Floating Art and its imitaion entering water.
   sozaihikaku.wmv(508KB) (Windows Media Player)
   sozaihikaku.mpg(966KB) (Mpeg Video)

The Floating Art is made from a thin flexible material to produce its delicate movements. You can see how it deflates as it is taken out of the water.

As it is placed back into the water, the object smoothly inflates. The Floating Art is currently available at Conan Co. who is our only official agent in Korea.

Q. Does the Floating Art work in an ordinary water tank?

  Ans. In order to create the current, the water tank must contain a shower pipe and a bottom filter for exhaust. Directions and strengths of the current must be adjusted to produce ideal motions of the object. At Sougeikan, we put a large amount of effort in experiment with tanks we are responsible for. When using kits we supply, you only need to fill them with tap water and you will be all set to enjoy the best movements.

Q. What is the lifespan of the floating objects?

  Ans. At Sougeikan, we find the beauty and delicacy of the floating objects to be most essential. Ones who look carefully might notice that the floating objects shrink slightly over a long term. In order to maintain its beauty, we recommend our customers to replace the floating objects after each year. The floating objects our each made by hand. Most clients in Japan have been individuals with extras to spare or corporations with a relatively high status.

Q. The floating objects have dissolved after 6 months.

  Ans. The resin used for the floating objects are easily effected by germs in the water. For this reason, our latest water tanks have a water filtering system installed. With these tanks, replacing the chemical set inside the water tank every six months should protect the floating objects. However, when using any other water tank, you may want to conceder using purified water or drinking water. As far as we are concerned of, tap water should be good enough for use in Japan. Please consult with your local agent for other areas. At Sougeikan we are constantly researching methods to ease the maintenance. Please ask us about adding filters to previously purchased water tanks. Also you may want to ask your local agent on the latest updates for filtering methods.

Q. What do I do when the floating objects are damaged?

  Ans.At Sougeikan, we supply replacements for the floating objects, free of charge if the set is purchased within one year. If it is beyond one year, please contact Sougeikan ([mail] 2384 Saki-cho, Nara-shi, Japan [phone]+81-742-30-0350) and mail in the damaged object at your own cost. For those who plan larger installments for shops and other public spaces, we also have a 6 month - 1 year rental contract. Please notify us your plans so we can suggest the best solution.

Q. How often does the water need to be replaced?

  Ans. Comparing with water tanks with actual life forms, the tanks for the Floating Art are much resistant towards moss or fur. The latest 35cm and 60cm circular tanks have a filtering system installed. Although you may want to add the water lost from evaporation, it only calls for an annual replacement of the filter. No replacement of the water is necessary. For tanks with out a filtering system, we recommend that the water is replaced every 2-3 months. This may be 1 month when placed near direct sunlight. When using detergents to clean the tank, make sure none of it remains in the tank.

Q. How is the cost performance as an interior?

  Ans. The Floating Objects require 3 days to create and are each prepared by hand. Although it may sound costly at first, our work is said to be much lower in price when compared to maintaining a water tank with true life forms.

Q. What kind of lighting is appropriate for the Floating Art?

  Ans. There are 2 types of Floating Objects
Standard water tanks will come with either
   White Type... Fluorescent light + Colored filters for lighting
   Fluorescent Type... A black light is used for lighting
The atmosphere produced by the Floating Art may change depending on the environment it is placed. Because you don't have to worry about stressing the (artificial) life forms in the tank, you can choose the lightings from quite a variety, including fluorescent with color filters, black lights and LEDs. The black light types our great for producing a mysterious feeling in a dark environment. Fluorescent lights along with color filters are better in brighter rooms.

Q. How do the fluorescent type objects emit?

  Ans. The fluorescent paint mixed into the resin reacts to the black light installed in the water tank.

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