Transient art on a Japanese dam

In the summer of 2008 Kärcher helped produce another work of art, this time in Japan: In collaboration with artist Klaus Dauven, high-pressure washers were used to create an intricate drawing on the Matsudagawa dam near the town of Ashikaga.

In this process the high-pressure jets of water etched the outline of flowers from the twelve-year-old layer of dirt on the dam wall (228 metres long and up to 56 metres high). The contrast between the treated and untreated surfaces then produced the five blossoms – “Hanazakari”, which will remain visible for about five years until the layer of algae, moss and lichen builds up again on the wall and gradually causes the distinct contours between the once cleaned and permanently overgrown surfaces to fade away. 

In order to transfer the images to the dam, a Japanese firm of surveyors digitized them and used laser technology to project them onto the wall. Four Kärcher HD 1050 B cold water pressure washers were used for the cleaning operation. With climbing ropes, a travelling platform and the assistance of German rope access specialists GSAR, they were able to reach all parts of the dam wall and remove the layer of dirt, consisting almost entirely of organic matter.

In 2007, Klaus Dauven collaborated with Kärcher to create a monumental animal motif entitled “Wild-Wechsel” (Wildlife Variations) on the Olef valley dam in Hellenthal in Germany’s Eifel region. Dauven, who works mainly in public spaces, has been using pressure washers since 2003 to produce temporary drawings on surfaces such as garden walls, underpasses and bridge pillars. He closely studies the environment that serves him as a backdrop and includes it in his works of art without changing it permanently in the way that common graffiti artists usually do.

Video Matsudagawa Dam