Matsudagawa Dam - Ashikaga, Japan
Temporary artwork on Japanese dam
In the summer of 2008, Kärcher helped to create another work of art, this time in Japan: in collaboration with the artist Klaus Dauven, a delicate drawing was created on the Matsudagawa dam, close to the city of Ashikaga, using high-pressure cleaners.
Flower motifs were etched out of the 12-year-old dirt layer onto the dam wall (which measures 228 metres in length and up to 56 metres in height) using the water stream. The five flowers – "Hanazakari" – can be seen in the contrast between the treated and untreated surface. They will remain on the wall for around five years until there is so much regrowth of algae, moss and lichen that there will be no visible difference between the once clean and permanently dirty surface.
In order to transfer the design onto the wall, it was digitised by a Japanese surveying company and projected onto the wall using laser technology. Four Kärcher HD 1050 B cold water high-pressure cleaners were used to perform the cleaning work. With climbing ropes, a mobile platform and the assistance of the German rope access technology firm GSAR, every part of the wall could be accessed and the dirt, made up almost exclusively of organic matter,
In 2007, Klaus Dauven created the monumental animal motif "Wildlife Variations" in collaboration with Kärcher on the Olef dam in Hellenthal in Germany's Eifel region. Klaus Dauven, whose work is displayed primarily in public spaces, has been using high-pressure cleaners since 2003 to create temporary artworks on garden walls, in underpasses and on bridge abutments, among other places. He closely examines the environment, which serves as his canvas, and incorporates it into the artwork, but without permanently changing it like conventional graffiti.