Rather than constituting a group of finished works, Sawada's "supraliminal" series has a strong experimental aspect. These are more like the "maquettes de volume" (scale models) created by architects to present their concepts.
The idea for this series came from Sawada's own experience of viewing prototypes. At times his consciousness seems to have separated from the real world into a fictional world, leaving his body behind. Springing from the preconception of human-sized scales, one can temporarily escape from the size relationships ordinarily holding between people and their things, and become aware of the existence of extraordinary proportions. Models thus serve as an invitation to a pseudo-world.
Let's suppose you see a hammer. Under normal consciousness, you will recognize this as a tool for hammering and working, but nothing more. Most likely it was fabricated under an industrial standard based on scientific analysis of the human hand. It is thus designed at a size optimal for human use.
Now imagine setting a doll atop the hammer. The doll is 1:150 normal human scale; next to the doll, the tool appears a huge object from a land of giants. The difference from usual scale invites an instantaneous transport into another world. The experience may last but an instant, yet it leaves a lasting impression: the new image is reproduced in consciousness, and its presence is grooved into supraliminal perception.
Sawada's "supraliminal" series is a willful manipulation of information, one that exposes the risks of normal perceptual recognition. These works function as "machines" for driving the viewer to experience the illusion of imaginary spaces.
Translated by Robert Plautz