Japanese artist Yusuke Asai uses nothing but natural pigments and water to create his intricate large-scale murals that he calls “earth painting”. The materials of his works are almost always collected on-site, or site-specific, made using a variety of different textures and types of local mud, dirt and dust. Each piece begins with applying masking tape to walls, then drawing shapes of plants and animals over it to create infinitely swirling images. Asai rejects commonly used art supplies that are manufactured in favor of mud, a sediment where microscopic organisms make their home, for its special connection to nature. He considers it to be a living material, therefore making his murals living pieces of art that are a part of the ever-changing life cycles they represent. For his current installation at the Hakone Open Air Museum in Japan, “Seeds of Imagination, Journeys of Soil”, Asai depicts a dense landscape full of such creatures and imaginary characters. Images of foxes, birds, cats, insects and tiny people are entwined with geometric shapes and tribal art inspired patterns in a detailed scene that spills onto the gallery walls, floor and ceiling. The installation will remain on view through February 28th, 2016.