It was in July 1961, 16 years ago, that sculptures were released in a free and lively outdoor space and modern Japanese sculptures appeared in front of the masses 16 years ago.
Masanori Ai, Takeyoshi Inoue, Kentaro Kimura, Ken Otani, Hisashi Kunno, Tadayoshi Sato, Kakuzo Kenhata, Eisaku Tanaka, Kan Totsu, Yoshihiko Nakajima, Yasutake Funakoshi, Yoshiyoshi Mukai, Takeshi Mori, Shigeru Moritaka, Yoshitatsu Yanagihara. , Leon Turner’s 59 works by 60 artists, mainly from the group 60, appeared at Tokiwa Park in Ube City as “Ube City Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition”.
It goes without saying that this appearance brought a fresh spirit into the sculpture world, which had fallen behind the chaos after the war. The sculpture was released to the outdoors, which brought about an epoch-making significance in that it had a strong interest in the way the sculpture was different from the way it was viewed by individuals. Compared to painting, he cast one or two stones in the quieter sculpture world, and played a major role in giving strong stimulation and various developments to the sculpture itself and the entire sculpture world.
Two years later, the Japan Symposium on World Modern Sculpture was opened on the Manazuru coast in Kanagawa prefecture. In the same year, the outdoor sculpture exhibition in Ube City will also be transformed and held as a “national sculpture contest application exhibition”. At this time, there were 122 entries from 95 people, and the exhibition was far exceeding expectations at the time, and it was a competition exhibition that burst the energy of new artists. The distinctive feature was that the frames that were bound by the existing art groups were removed, and the works that were produced at will were exhibited without being restricted by the groups.
In the catalog at this time, the sculpture is originally an outdoor sculpture, and the rays of the sun are necessary… My sculpture is more like a landscape than the most noisy building I know. However, this is one of the reasons why I want you to place it in the landscape because it is like this, quoted by Henry Moore’s words that describe the essence of sculpture, Sadaichi Hijikata of the Japan Museum Planning Council The chairman described the reason and progress of the “National Sculpture Competition Application Exhibition”, and further, “Maybe the participating artists reflect on the nature of the sculpture newly placed outdoors in this natural environment. I must have regretted about the natural and mental environment that I have. It is not an exaggeration to say that the first step towards new experiments and advances in contemporary sculpture has begun here.” As such, it can be said that this contest application exhibition strongly impressed the possibility of new developments on contemporary Japanese sculpture. A new experiment and advancement in modern sculpture began ahead of others in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, a small local city with a population of only 160,000 at the southern tip of Honshu.
This had the following background. Today, 16 years later, I forget about the process and many people don’t know it.
Ube City, which has been mining coal for a long time and developed, lost most of the city area to the air raid just before the end of World War II. However, Ube City’s subsequent recovery plan was much quicker and far more bold than other cities. It was the end of the war, and in November 1945, the city reconstructed a major road with a road width of 50 meters, which was unthinkable at the time, and it was completed while buying the antipathy of the citizens during the turmoil of lack of food, clothing, and housing. It was there. In addition, in 1952, we started to plant roadside trees on these roads, and in time we evoked the sympathy of the citizens. It was a remarkable revival early on, such as by developing into a competition.
This urban reconstruction plan was promoted mainly by the late Mayor of Ube City, Toshio Hoshide, the late Mayor of Jiro Iwaki Municipal Library, the current council of the Women’s Problems Countermeasures, and the Chairman of the Greening Movement Promotion Committee Yoshie Ueda. However, around this time, Ube City, which had long sought to “create a rich town with a rich cultural fragrance,” called for cooperation from Chairman Hijikata, a senior student of the Iwashiro Library Director’s school. The encounter between the excellent administrator Mayor Hoshide, the intelligent director Iwaki, and the passionate Ms. Ueda and Chairman Hijikata brought together the basic concept of the “Sculpture City Ube” that connects sculpture to the town of greenery and flowers, and eventually began. As a result, he tried to make Japan’s first large-scale outdoor sculpture exhibition appear in this small city. Architect Masato Otaka, sculptor Yoshitatsu Yanagihara, and Yoshiyoshi Mukai also joined the staff, and became the Ube City Sculpture Steering Committee.First, 16 people sculpture while arranging the vast Ube City Tokiwa Park with bulldozers themselves. It is because the outdoor sculpture exhibition I mentioned at the beginning was what I called the house and saw the 59 works exhibited.
By the way, this “outdoor sculpture exhibition”, in which the sculptures are released to the open air and allowed to spread freely, became the “national sculpture contest application exhibition” as described above, and two years later, from 1965, It will be the “Japanese Sculpture Exhibition” and will emphasize the social function of modern sculpture, but there is a “sculpture that was forgotten while the modern sculpture of the 20th century was undergoing experiments in the atelier. Restoring sociality is the next most important thing: architects, sculptors and painters work together to make our living space reasonably beautiful” ( Hijikata Sadakichi, Asahi Shimbun, January 27, 1958) was the basis for the pursuit, and it can be said that the times were repeated.
From the 1st exhibition to the 4th exhibition, it consists of only invited artists. From the 5th exhibition, the competition section is added. Is held every time with a theme, and the contemporary sculpture is in tune with the contemporary society, and demands contemporary statements from the times. In the 3rd exhibition, the theme was “Modern sculpture with three materials-stainless steel, aluminum, and plastics”, and in the 4th exhibition, “with reinforced plastics,” it was not generalized before the war, or new after the war. With materials, modern new materials developed by modern industrial technology, modern materials such as iron, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, cement, and brass, all the possibilities of modern sculpture that the sculptor’s imagination matches. At the same time, in the 5th exhibition “Shape and color”, in the 6th exhibition “Sculpture monumentality”, in the 7th exhibition “Abstract and concrete of contemporary sculpture” By using, he has shown the intention of exploring the basic way of contemporary sculpture and its social function. At the same time, considering the character of the city where contemporary sculptures are placed, how to show the various possibilities of the function of contemporary sculptures, sculptural and social functions according to the urban space in the changing period It goes without saying that modern sculpture has deepened the common opportunity in the ideals of the community.
However, what I would like to note here is that the movement proceeded in much the same way as Japan’s history of pollution problems. In other words, since the 1955 Jinmu economy, the Japanese economy has rapidly gained momentum, and in 1968 Japan’s productivity surpassed West Germany to become an economic superpower, but due to its high growth policy, Minamata disease, Yokkaichi It was about the same as the progress of natural pollution that was causing asthma. It’s a painful thing, but when the voices called for clean water and green spaces began to come out in general, and some criticism for industrial development priority that neglected social development began in the latter half of the 1950s, Ube gave concrete examples of contemporary sculpture. The dynamic movement has begun to activate. As mentioned earlier, Ube City, together with its citizens, decided to open a flower bed contest in 1958, but in the same year, a women’s group that was promoting a flower-filled movement planted the remaining money after planting flowers. So it’s implicit that I bought a little sculpture, a little nude. He said he was eager to put sculptures on the streets of greenery and flowers. Already two years ago, we were able to donate a voluntary donation from citizens to the “Industrial Prayer Statue” of Takeo Yamauchi in the street in 56, and in addition, in “60 years”, “Young Statue” of Takeuchi Yamauchi and in 61 It has been developed into a movement to decorate the town by purchasing “sitting woman” by Yoshitatsu Yanagihara. The year 61 was the beginning of the outdoor sculpture exhibition. Continuing in 1963, Morie Ogiwara’s “woman”, Yuzo Fujikawa’s “Nude Woman”, Yasuo Mizui’s “Kite Kita” in the “National Sculpture Competition Application Exhibition” in 1964, “The 2nd Hyundai” in 67 Masamichi Yamamoto’s “Takahara” exhibited at the “Japanese Sculpture Exhibition” was purchased, and since then, Tadashi Sato “Children of the Winter”, Katsumi Kiuchi “Woman with Hands”, Tatsuo Kawaguchi “Cube” are in the town by citizens. It is located in
On the other hand, it is still new to the general public that the high-growth policy that prioritizes the private interests of businesses and civil society has been continued like a fever while paying attention to pollution. The destruction of nature stopped at an accelerating rate, and instead, a highway was created unilaterally and simplified by the development of system technology. I was taken away. Moreover, because of the comprehensive redevelopment of the city, social life in the neighborhood was neglected, and the sense of human alienation deepened and spread.
Ube’s open-air sculpture exhibition at that time was just as if it was caught up in these developments, and in the meantime, while conducting various ambitious experiments, contemporary sculpture was annoying and difficult to do in cities and human alienation. I felt as if I had been appealing how to revitalize my life, how good urban space could add spiritual richness to social life. The more annoying the city becomes, the more the relationship between the environment and sculpture, the urban space and sculpture, such as environment and sculpture, has been sought after in the public view in order to explore new social functions of contemporary sculpture. You can say it. That is why even the masses, who did not understand the connection between outdoor sculpture and urban space at the beginning, gradually deepened their understanding of excellent outdoor sculptures that have a free feeling in their hearts. Increasingly, we are seeing a favorable image placed in. Citizens of various places who want a green space in the park are now looking for an environment where modern sculptures are placed by a fresh environment improvement rather than a simple and simple diagram such as a flower clock in the park. Then it can be said that the course is natural. If so, the significance of existence of the outdoor sculpture exhibition in Ube City, which has maintained the belief and energy that should play an enlightening role within the budget of one local government for more than 16 years, is truly true. I have to say it’s big.
The answer to the questionnaire about the sculpture exhibition conducted by the Secretariat of the Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition, which is enthusiastically promoting the exhibition last year, shows that the voice of the citizens who show high interest is even higher. Ube City’s outdoor sculpture exhibition will be held by Ube City’s sculpture committee members including Hijikata and the selection committee, the Mainichi Shimbun, and successive mayors After the death of Mayor Nishida, the mayor of Keiji Nitta has been accepted by the mayor of Hideo Futaki after the retirement of Mayor of Nitta). Meanwhile, with the energetic cooperation of many sculptors, a number of masterpieces to be recorded during the year were announced, which made the contemporary Japanese sculpture exhibition dense and fresh, and it was also a great power. Needless to say. In addition, we cannot forget that the open-air sculpture exhibition is supported by a large local corporation, Ube Industries, Ltd., with the understanding and cooperation of the local companies.
In this way, this year will also be the 7th exhibition with the goodwill of many people. Again, I feel the weight of 16 years, but I strongly wonder how good it would be to build a facility for the Ube City Open-Air Sculpture Museum Indoor Exhibition, which has been a pending issue. The establishment of this facility will make the preservation of sculpture permanent and the artistic culture of Ube, including sculpture, will become even more solid. This is because it can be seen that it will be suitable for cultivating the citizenship spirit of Ube City, which had a preoccupation with the times.
At the end, after the Ube City Open-air Sculpture Exhibition (no award system) was held in 1961, let’s list the people who were awarded at the Open-air Sculpture Exhibition in Ube City.
◎Nationwide Sculpture Competition Exhibition (1963) Grand Prize, Anji Shimizu and other winners Hiroshi Ogawa, Yu Oda, Tadae Shimada, Eisaku Tanaka, Masatoshi Tamaki, Takeshi Tsuchiya, Kazutomi Togashi, Kazuhiro Miyagawa
◎The 1st Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition (1965) Grand Prize, Eguchi Week et al. Winners: Yo Oda, Yuichi Sakurai, Morio Shinoda, Takeshi Tsuchiya, Shin Nomizu, Saburo Muraoka
◎2nd Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition (1967) Grand Prize Katsuji Kishida and other winners Kunihiko Isshiki, Shin Shingu, Kiyoshi Takahashi, Takeshi Tsuchiya, Michio Fukuoka, Kazuo Yubara, Isamu Wakabayashi
◎The 3rd Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition (1969) Grand Prize, Saburo Muraoka and other winners Michio Ihara, Yuzuru Oda, Aki Eri, Shintaro Tanaka, Ka Hiroi
◎The 4th Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition (1971) Grand Prize, Minami Tada and other winners Ay-O, Eguchi Week, Yutaka Oshio, Michio Fukuoka, Masakazu Horiuchi, Saburo Muraoka, Haruhiko Yasuda
◎The 5th Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition (1973) Grand Prize, Eiji Yamamoto and other winners: Yo Oda, Tsuneaki Kato, Kosuke Kimura, Takeshi Tanabe, Takeshi Tsuchiya, Yuko Nozaki, Haruhiko Yasuda
◎The 6th Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition (1975) Grand Prize, Takeshi Tsuchiya and other winners Yuko Imai, Keiji Onitsuka, Kyuhei Shimizu, Minami Tada, Yoneyoshi Tanaka, Masakazu Masuda, Haruhiko Yasuda, Maki Yamaguchi, Isao Wakabayashi
The selection committee members have changed slightly each year, but if you list all the committee members related to these, atsushi Imaizumi, Jiro Iwaki, Masato Otaka, Tadao Ogura, Sadao Kato, Noriaki Kawakita, Tetsuo Taniguchi, Heihachiro Girada, They are Yusuke Nakahara, Densaburo Nakamura, Ichiro Hariu, Sadaichi Hijikata, Masakazu Horiuchi, Hiroshi Masuda, Tamon Miki, Ryokichi Mukai, Nobunari Mochizuki, and Yoshitatsu Yanagihara.