Iceman in Reality Park was first created for the 1995 group exhibition Ripple Across the Water—curated by Jan Hoet—which turned Aoyama city center, Japan into an outdoor art gallery. Every day just before lunch, in the private park of the Kirin Brewery Company in Minami Aoyama where employees gathered to eat, a refrigerated truck delivered an ice sculpture of a snowman. Every day the sculpture melted and was replaced the next day.
The work reappears twenty-five years later. The ice sculpture of a snowman is displayed on a plinth and melts over the course of a few days. It leaves behind the stones that were once embedded in the ice and the tree branches used for the arms. The amplified sound of dripping water echoes throughout the exhibition space.
The work includes a found Japanese manhole cover; each edition number features a manhole cover with a different motif:
Edition #1/5 features a manhole cover from the Japanese city of Fukui showing two phoenixes. One theory states that the city chose that as their symbol due to their history of having “risen from the ashes” multiple times after being hit by air raids, floods, and earthquakes. Another theory states that it stems from the city’s history of recovering from an earthquake only to again be hit by a big fire and the two phoenixes symbolizes the two-fold recovery.
Edition #2/5 features a manhole cover from the Japanese city of Yurihonjo in the Akita prefecture. The delicate patterns represent Japanese irises while the mention of the city's former name indicates that the manhole cover was produced before 2005 when several cities of the district merged to form Yurihonjo.