White often seems to be used in contemporary art in Japan as a kind of short cut to signify "beauty," "purity" or "spirituality." Simon Fujiwara's show "White Day" at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery is, as the title suggests, overwhelmingly white, but it's designed not to stay that way.
The specially installed white carpet will get progressively get dirtier as time goes by, and Fujiwara is looking forward to having a photograph taken of the show on the last day, to show how "defiled" it will have become from visitors footprints and the muck trailed in from the street. Grubby tracks have already formed from the entrance, where a white shopping bag from the high-end British department store Harvey Nichols is the first exhibit, through to two large rooms of new and previously exhibited pieces.
The shopping bag was improvised, and very site-specific — borrowed from the museum staff, who usually use it to store bits and pieces by the information desk. It is now spotlit in a darkened corridor and followed by a scattering of coins around a plum tree branch (money doesn't grow on trees). From this we can guess that Fujiwara's view of the manufactured March 14 tradition of White Day, where in Japan men are supposed to give a gift in return for having received chocolate on St. Valentine's Day, is ambivalent, at best.