Sculpture has become more and more interesting as the variety of materials and the variety of forms of expression have increased. With the arrival of the high-tech era, the introduction of new science and technology has been attempted, and the concept of sculpture itself is changing drastically. Partly because it is more appropriate to call it three-dimensional modeling rather than sculpture, new concepts are being created in the context of the environment and Moriki, including realistic concrete sculpture. Call it sculpture or sculpture, but sculpture, especially the role it plays in the open air or in public spaces, is of great importance today and is of great public interest.
The 11th Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Sculptures, which will be held in the Biennale format, will contribute to heightening interest in sculpture and deepening their understanding in this way. Achieving results has significant significance in the development of contemporary sculpture. Counting 13 times from the Ube City outdoor sculpture exhibition held in 1958. The insights and efforts of Ube City, which has continued this cultural project for 29 years, are actually bearing fruit.
At the beginning of this competition, sculpture was still largely unfamiliar. There is a gap between the high artistic character of the avant-garde works gathered in Tokiwa Park, the strong willingness of the artists to create, and the general awareness of sculpture. The air to see was dominant. At that time, in Ube, far from Tokyo, which is the center of art, the foresight that this competition, which tackled an experimental trial of contemporary sculpture, was started, is commendable.
Based on the “movement to sculpt the town” that occurred in the turmoil of the defeat, the depression of the coal mine, and the devastation of the hearts of the citizens, with the construction of a wide road and tree planting, the vision of the “sculpture city” was set at the center of city planning. Ube City, which has clearly penetrated, is truly a pioneer in creating an environment centered on sculpture that is occurring in various cities today. Moreover, Ube City, a city that is by no means large in terms of population, continues to bear the financial burden that is not light administratively, and is still in the lead.
Four years ago, the 9th Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition was held as an opportunity, and the “National Symposium on Urban Design in the 21st Century” was held with the main theme of the exhibition theme “Open space and greenery and sculpture”. It was a huge hit by Ube City. Sculptors, administrative experts, urban engineering, city planning planners, architects and designers gathered from all over the country, and the general public also participated in the symposium for two days. It was the first full-scale debate about the problems involved with sculpture. The various issues discussed here have since become a major guideline for municipalities and companies to install sculptures. I think that what is most significant is that it has raised interest in public sculptures in general, as well as in the white body and related parties throughout the country.
This symbodium is one that I remember a lot. Among them, sculptor Yoshiyoshi Mukai, while sculptor pollution theory popped out and sculptor’s artistry and sociality were discussed in panel discussions where the logic of connecting open spaces, greens, and sculptures was fought. The most striking point was the writer’s point of view. As a symposium panelist, he was the only sculptor, so he dared to talk about the artist’s sentiment, perhaps because he wanted to speak for many sculptors who could not speak here. “The sculpture is not something that can be created by reason, but the flow of blood pulsing in the body can be created naturally,” he said, considering that the creator is public. This is a writer’s annoyance that the sculpture is only treated as a decoration of the town and open space, and it is important for the side to put the sculpture in the public space. I thought so.
The writer’s sentiment is the sentiment, but in reality public spaces are seeking sculpture, and the writer and the work are inevitably selected. It’s not that I can’t feel a big contradiction, but first of all, it is a strict fact that Tokiwa Park in Ube City exists as a place for presenting works, and that Ube City has brought up the competition to the present day. And it is undeniable that there are many writers who grew up from this competition, and that the Japanese sculpture world thus greatly benefits Ube City. I am reminiscent of past exhibits and awards, and I am amazed at the rich harvest. Moreover, I feel that the works have become more and more like outdoor sculptures each time. After all, the strong molding spirits of the writers are free here without any restrictions. That is good.
As is well known, this competition is held only by invited artists from the 1st exhibition of 1965 to the 4th exhibition of 1946, and after the 5th exhibition, it will be an invitation and open call for participants. There is. However, the open recruitment section will conduct a model examination in advance and select a winning work, and then select a real work. Eventually, the invitation work and the actual work will compete for the prize, but the model selection work will also be exhibited at the venue. Overall, it is a place to see today’s highly motivated writers’ work and young writers’ new and bold works of expression. Therefore, you can think of typical works of today’s outdoor sculpture here. At one point, the face of the invited artists was fixed, and at the stage of choosing the invited artists, we tried to avoid duplication as much as possible, and the tendency of the works has become more diverse.
When I touched on the public offering this time, there were 227 entries from 167 people in the model examination held in Tokyo this April, 36 points were selected, and 10 points out of 10 were actual production. .. The works gathered in this qualifying are really different in terms of materials and expressions, and it is common to vote many times and discuss each point one by one. There wasn’t. After all, half of the 10 people who were actually made were artists who have proven themselves in competitions such as this competition and contemporary Japanese art exhibition, but please refrain from actual things due to consideration for safety and maintenance in the open air. There were a lot of winning works received. In that respect, it may be possible for experienced writers to compete. For me, I cannot give up the desire to show a simple piece by Yoko Horikoshi’s thin metal plate ring.
The whole thing is that there are many works that are clearly aware of outdoor sculpture. This is quite different from the number of works that once seemed to be outdoor sculptures if they were simply enlarged in the museum and put out in the open air. This is the last competition, with two stone works, Nobuyoshi Iwaki’s “Wind Score” and Hiroshi Taisei’s “Kaze no Kage No. 6”, which were unique to the outdoors Taken together, it will be a great achievement for this competition.
But it’s not without problems. Over the course of a quarter-century history, there have been various inconveniences that were unthinkable in the beginning, both in the outdoor sculpture itself and in the way the competition took place. Or it may be natural. Under the guidance of Professor Hijikata, when the outdoor sculpture movement started, the passion for the movement covered all the things, and I was able to pursue purely artistry. However, as experience gained, similar competitions emerged, and the number of public sculptures in each region increased, that was not enough.
The feature article of the Mainichi Shimbun that introduced the last 10th exhibition touched on that, “Of course, the future of outdoor sculpture is never rosy. Coexistence with the natural ecosystem, harmony with urban space, and outdoor exhibitions. There are a number of hurdles that must be overcome, such as the problems of maintaining and maintaining the usual things.” It is also important to look at the fact that many of the works exhibited at the competition do not have a place to be placed at the end of the exhibition period. Even though Japanese outdoor sculpture has grown so far, it’s a shame to think of it.
From the side, it can be said that this competition is built on the heavy burden of exhibiting artists. The cost of outdoor sculpture is not ridiculous. As the original materials and finishes are more effective, I cannot spare myself as an artist. Although subsidies are given to the works, the freight is borne by the organizer, and the prize money has increased slightly, as a matter of fact, even if most of the works get prize money, it does not cover the production cost. Whether an artist is chosen as an invited writer or a publicly offered physical production, the writer needs to be prepared with considerable financial resources. Still, the writers manage to come up with the contest. I wonder if Mr. Mukai’s “flow of blood pulsing in the body” makes it possible without profit or loss. Many of such works will sleep in the hands of the artist after the end of the exhibition period.
There is also a dilemma in museums that give purchase awards to competitions. Although each museum purchases it based on the collection policy, it already has a considerable number of works, and there is a problem in storing and installing large-scale outdoor sculptures, and due to the budget, the amount is There is also a circumstance that it cannot be increased significantly. Recently, there has been an idea that the competition is a one-shot game, so the prize should be an award, and the one who actually takes over is to ask the same artist for another work. That may be a convenient method, but this loses the essential award-winning work.
What should we do about this reality? I think it’s time for everyone to think from a high level of helping writers to devote themselves only to making good works. It can be said that the history of the contemporary Japanese sculpture exhibition brought sculpture and society so close together.
(Mainichi Newspaper Editorial Committee Member)