• FEELING IT IN YOUR BONES: Etsuko Ichikawa

An ominous sound hits, like a slamming gate, and she appears—a speck traveling across a walkway that's halfway up to the sky. Jump cut to the same moment, different view. We see her from the back. Dressed in white flowing clothes, she walks past heavy equipment toward a doorway. Pan out: This doorway is on the side of a skyscraper-height tower with a wide base and a tapered top. It was built as a nuclear cooling tower south of Seattle, but before it was ever used, it was abandoned. Now it just stands there inordinately shading the land around it, an echo of the world's first large-scale plutonium production reactor, located just across the state at Hanford. Hanford was the source of the 10,300-pound bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Walking across the tower, the woman in the film—Etsuko Ichikawa, a Seattle-based artist from Tokyo—claps repeatedly, in slow motion. It is not applause.

When you see this, you also feel it. Echo at Satsop the film is only part of Echo at Satsop the installation. The most visceral part is a circular platform of wood that you stand or sit on. The booming sounds of Ichikawa's claps vibrate through the wood into you. She made the piece shortly after the Fukushima disaster, when she lost touch with her parents for a time and didn't know whether they were alive or dead. The artistic ripples of radiation are satisfying, intimate, healing, but they ripple farther out, into realms that are threatening, vicarious, ominous.

Echo also cinematically enacts the echo between small and large scale, one person and the huge chamber of history. Hanford, Nagasaki, Fukushima, Satsop—for Ichikawa, these are personal places, yet so vast as to be only partially imaginable. What she can do is treat the echoes. She can send sound waves out, observe their return, and wonder at the resemblances and experiences that flash temporarily into view.

If Echo at Satsop is one voice in the vastness of time and place and events, then Wing Luke Museum in Seattle's International District is a chamber for the echo of thousands of voices...

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