9th Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition

Green Town and Sculpture

Noriaki Kawakita

  The 9th “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition” in Ube City, which has drawn the honorable history of pioneering the outdoor sculpture exhibition in Japan, will be held under the theme of “Green Town and Sculpture” suitable for today. I’m glad that I became a fan. At the same time, the “National Symposium on Urban Design for the 21st Century” will be held with the theme of “Open space, greenery and sculpture”. There will also be a gathering of modern intelligence on building a new city that is closely related to this.

  By the way, the theme is “green town and sculpture,” but when I saw the words “green town and sculpture,” I had a vivid memory of my private life. It was about 20 years ago, when I was at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyobashi, Tokyo. At the time, it was our dream to move the Museum of Modern Art, which was in a small old building in the middle of Kyobashi, in the middle of Tokyo, to a larger place and make it bigger. I was enthusiastic about the move. Yoyogi Park has been nominated as a promising candidate site due to the gradual maturation of the plan and the efforts of a certain source. However, at that time, it was a good time for general public opinion to protect the park greenery, so I was prepared, but I happened to hear a rumor that a large newspaper took up this issue socially. .. Then the headline was shocking. In other words, he made a big statement, “Is it an edge or a museum?”

  I thought I was dead. It’s been clear that the recovery of greenery is important in Tokyo, where the devastation of the post-war era remains. It is a major heading for nuances whether the green is important or whether it is destroyed and turned into a museum. The museum and the greenery are treated as completely opposites. Of course, museums where we deal with art are not such destructive things. On the contrary, even if it is a cultural facility that makes the green shine and makes sense, the effect of the headline once appeared is indelible, and the situation that cast a big shadow on the Yoyogi plan is still forgotten. I have no memories. After that, the story spread to another side and moved to the current Kitanomaru Park, and the plan for the new management has come true, so there is nothing to do anymore, but 20 years ago, I was bitter with the confrontation idea of ​​”green or museum?” Taiki still retains a shadow in my brain.

  The reason why I was associated with this slightly bitter memory now is that Uchidani is the exact opposite, even though the words “green town and sculpture” in this theme are similar to each other. This was because it was fun to be harmonious with. The relationship between green and sculpture in this sculpture exhibition in Ube City is different from the history of our former bitter case, and the angle of thinking is different. It has a beautiful image full of humanity and cultural bulge that is beyond comparison. In the case of Ube City, which takes such an idea as a matter of course, it must be seen as a proof that the decency that has an extremely high cultural standard as a local city is rapidly growing. Where is the reason for doing that? This may be immediately accepted if one traces the history of the “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition”.

  If you think about it, the ideals and passions of the excellent seniors here, such as Hoshide, Nishida, Nitta, successive mayors of Futaki, Iwaki Library Director, Ms. Ueda, etc., become the base, and the wide range of citizens. Cooperation has been brought together. On top of that, I cannot help praising the preciousness of the process that was motivated to build over the years. It wasn’t what happened overnight, according to Bunyu.

  It was said in 1950 that the Ube city, which had been thirsty after the war, seemed to be left in the rubble, started greening with a budget of 500,000 yen. City officials went into the mountains with unattended laborers, dug trees and made seedlings. The women’s group, who was impressed by the staff who planted it with a budget of little money, started voluntary cooperation. The neighborhood association collapsed the rubble to create a flower bed, and the movement of flowers was expanded. At such times, it is said that the sculpture of “Yamimi Woman” with a small white structure placed in one corner softened the hearts of the citizens more than expected. This one day developed into a “movement to decorate Ube with sculptures”, and in addition, Mayor Hoshide, Director Iwaki, Ms. Ueda and Sadakazu Hijikata made a wonderful meeting to connect the sculpture to the green and flower town of “Ube” The basic concept is complete. Thus, Japan’s first large-scale outdoor sculpture exhibition appeared in this small city in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It is a well-known fact that this eventually grew into an event that radiates a unique light all over the country.

  Looking at this origin, there is no room here for the strange idea of ​​confrontation that we have tasted, such as the green space or the museum, or whether it is green or art. On the contrary, the beautiful nature and artificial artificial harmony are still praised by just thinking about greenery, flowers, and sculpture. In the midst of that harmony, the city has regained its humanity, and the sculpture has inspired me to awaken to its original mission. Mr. Hijikata said, “The modern sculptures of the 20th century are trying to restore the sociality of the sculptures that they had forgotten while following the experiments in the atelier.” Would have pointed out appropriately. In order to realize that mission, architects, sculptors, and painters worked together to make our familiar living spaces reasonably beautiful. In this direction, Ube’s outdoor sculpture exhibition was one of the first to make remarkable achievements. In this way, it is fair to say that the possibilities of green towns and sculptures have been explored for 20 years in cooperation with many human resources.

  By the way, however, during the 20 years, I have experienced some changes in the situation during that time, and I am making a transition from this perspective, and I am foreseeing future directions and the arrival of new challenges. Looking back on the history of the past, starting with the “Ube City Open Air Sculpture Exhibition” by artists mainly from the group 60 in 1961, the “National Sculpture Competition Application Exhibition” was held in 1963, and from 1965. Started the 1st “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition”. It is held biennially and follows the 9th in 1981 this year.

  From the 3rd of these, the theme will be set every time. In ’69, “modern sculptures made of three materials-stainless steel, aluminum, and plastics” were used, and in ’71, “strengthened plastics were used.” It was planned. These are supported by the development and breakthrough of industrial technology in this era, but at the same time, it is a problem in terms of materials, and at the same time, the content of the idea may be connected to the fact that the thinking in the industrial development era has come into widespread use. In other words, the so-called abstract sculpture suitable for new materials has become the mainstream of outdoor sculpture. By the way, since the ’70 year in this period is the year of the World Expo in Osaka, it means that the fiscal year of high economic growth was also reached.

  Next, in 1973, “shape and color,” in 1975, “the monumentality of sculpture,” and in 1977, “abstract and concrete of modern sculpture,” which was the time of the development era and new material era. After passing through, the viewpoint of trying to revisit the essence of the outdoor sculpture as a sculpture is in the foreground. Furthermore, when it comes to “Poesie in the sculpture” in 1979, it means that we should once again illuminate the contents and goals of the sculpture, and this year’s “Green Town and Sculpture” is such Uchidani and It can be said that the point of view has come to the point where the sociality of the goal and the meaning in the actual living space are reviewed again. In other words, it may mean that there is a need for a comprehensive reflection and perspective on the outdoor sculpture exhibition that has developed over the past 20 years.

  This seems to be closely related to the contents of the symposium “Open space, greenery, and sculpture” held at the same time. After 20 years, the once unrestricted metropolitan concentration era has hit the limit, and now the “regional era” and “cultural era” are whispered as the voices of the times with or without content. There is. As a proud pioneer of such trends, Ube City’s “Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition” is willing to offer all the experiences that it has accumulated to the cities of the country that share the same challenges and desires. We should.

  At the same time, we, along with the beautiful theme of “green town and sculpture”, together with the sculptors, architects and painters, as well as the people involved in the town planning and the general public, will join us in the new age of the coming times. It is necessary to work on the idea of ​​a living space corresponding to the waves. I think today is approaching that important next starting point.

(Director, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto)