12th Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition

Impressions of the time of the 12th Exhibition

Noriaki Kawakita

  The twelfth so-called Ube Sculpture Biennale exhibition will be held under the theme of “Taiyo Sanka”. I’m looking forward to the opening of the exhibition, paying attention to how it will be different from the previous theme of “climate and sculpture” and whether it will not change much in reality.

  At the beginning of this exhibition outline, the following words that the late Chairman Sadakazu Hijikata said at the first competition of 1963 are listed.

  ”The enchanting charm of sculptures standing in the bright rays of the open air is unforgettable, where the extent (or form) of the sculpture seems to laugh brightly in the light and dark crevices of the bright rays, and how much it has. The volume has the feeling of breathing for the first time in a large natural space, and since the sculpture’s molding is related to the relationship between the spread and the volume, the sculpture is like a living thing in the bright light of the field for the first time. In

  this way, the theme of “Taiyo Sanka” may be to try to stand up straight to the origin of outdoor sculpture.

  By the way, the history of the Ube open-air sculpture exhibition that started with this vivid Hijikata proposal will soon reach the quarter, but during this time, some changes in the situation will occur both inside and outside the sculpture exhibition, and at this point the reflection on the origin, I can’t help feeling that I was approaching the point where I should deepen it a little more carefully.

  As a general theory, outdoor sculptures sprout into Japanese society by taking advantage of this contemporary sculpture exhibition in Ube, broadening the roots, keeping pace with the rapid economic growth of the times, the progress of industrial development, the expansion of urban culture, etc. It is as the public’s eyes that it has steadily spread throughout the country. The achievements of Ube City officials and related experts who have given a bright start to this trend have already been established with historical evaluation, so the late Hijikata chairman, Mayor Toshio Hoshide and Jiro Iwaki, who were in the early days of the era, are still alive. I would like to thank Ms. Yoshie Ueda and others for the past. However, in order to receive the ideals and good intentions of those people, it is necessary to pay sufficient attention to the changing times and the changing conditions. It is necessary for all parties concerned to deal with the new problems that arise by using wisdom and strength.

  This may be one of those phenomena, but there is a problem with the Museum Award, which has been a hot topic in the steering committee every time. Since this problem is naturally related to the historical situation of the outdoor sculpture exhibition, if we ask only where it is necessary, the problem still comes from the conditions when the sculpture exhibition started.

  Originally, the Museum Award was first set by Chairman Hijikata, who sought to make this sculpture exhibition nominally prestigious in the art world, and to make it more nationwide. It will be the first time when it is judged that adding the prize of the National Museum of Modern Art is effective. Just as I was working at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo at that time, I decided to give a museum award and purchase an excellent work at the request of Mr. Hijikata, just as I did at the Mainichi Contemporary Art exhibition before that. This gradually became a sign of repeated customs, and eventually it spread to Kyoto’s National Museum of Art and the National Museum of Art. Of course, in addition, the leading public museums were in line with each other, bustling around the main prize of the sculpture exhibition.

  It is clear that this method was effective in the early stages, with some problems in the 1940s and 1950s, when the degree of its establishment gradually increased after the establishment of the outdoor sculpture exhibition. It should be said that the aim and method of Chairman Hijikata had been successful. Of course, the effect should not be lost even today.

  However, from around the end of the 1950s, the shadow of the problem began to appear little by little. It was very significant that the National Museum of Art played a supporting role in promoting and encouraging open-air sculpture, and it must be valuable, but this is because the open-air sculpture is nationwide as it is today. When the rights are clarified and the meaning of enlightenment promotion support is no longer the same as in the early days, it cannot be exactly the same as before. Moreover, the national institutions in the era of the voice of administrative reform are in a difficult position unlike in the past.

  Looking at this from another point of view, the museum award is one of the purchasing businesses based on the purchase budget, so the award-winning work must be stored in the museum. .. However, as is well known, none of the museums, other than some of them, have enough room to install outdoor sculptures. In other words, it is becoming more and more common today that you can’t use a prize even if you purchase it. Aside from the case of a new museum that is newly established with a large area or space, it is natural that the older the museum, the more difficult it is to locate the outdoor sculpture.

  Therefore, museums that acquire outdoor sculptures according to the Museum Award are willing to devise ways to create new spaces, plan to install them in a place different from conventional ones, or to put them in the existing museum hall. It is limited to. If the prospects still do not stand out, it is necessary to take an award as an award and purchase another displayable work that is not exhibited by the author, or to take such a flexible action. In other words, if the museum award fits perfectly into an excellent outdoor sculpture work, it may be an exception.If you urgently conclude, the museum award has a significant significance in the outdoor sculpture exhibition. The reality may be that the times have already passed.

  So how should we overcome this situation? Generally, in an outdoor sculpture competition, it is an important basic work to recognize the artists who have submitted excellent works. It may be possible to show it to the public as an exhibit without awards, but if it is a large product like an outdoor sculpture, take care to install it somewhere in a real space. Is required. To that end, it is expected that the awards will be incorporated into the installation procedure one after another, and it goes without saying that recognition by awards and prizes is an effective procedure for that purpose. Moreover, the Museum Award is more than just one of those practical procedures, it is accompanied by a so-called medal-like role that recognizes outstanding writers to society. If so, it would be irresponsible to bury the historical museum award, which has been reviewed for a quarter century with the Ube Sculpture Competition, as a thing of the past. It seems that the reality is that today we have come to the point where we should consider from various angles how to shed this and invigorate it as something more meaningful.

  Here, we have specifically aimed at the issue of the Museum Award, but if not so much, there may be some other situations that should be reconsidered as the times and circumstances change. In the 12th contemporary Japanese sculpture, which has the theme of returning to the origin of the song “Taiyo Sanka,” I think that it is the duty of the parties concerned to openly consider the future. I would like to ask for the candid teachings of all wise men.