The first time I visited Ube was when the 1st Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition was held in 1965. Due to time constraints, the opening was too late, and when I arrived at the venue, I couldn’t even see any acquaintances, and the sculptural works breathed freely in the beautiful scenery of the quiet and spacious Tokiwa Park. In addition, the work of Ryokichi Mukai, who I knew from the photograph, of the ant castle reflected in the blue sky as if he were singing a song of delight, and his feet were firmly placed on the grass. I still have a strong impression that it is really suitable for sculptures to be placed in these places.
It was early, and 23 years have passed since then, and the sculpture exhibition has reached 12 times. Many mosquitoes continued to be born in this green open-air museum, and many people came to gather. Not only the town of Ube City, but also the outdoor sculpture exhibitions in various parts of Japan, it gives a great stimulus and contributes greatly to the sculpture world. There are many things I can’t do, and I feel that my heart is getting hot.
After the end of World War II, the art world, which regained peace, finally started free activities, sculptures, voices from inside the room or even from the museum to the outdoors, to architectural space, life in the city. Attempts to create a place that has a close relationship with space have begun in various parts of the world.
It was this Ube city that actually started the outdoor exhibition in Japan in 1961 at the “Ube Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition”. After that, various outdoor sculpture symposiums and exhibitions were held in various places, and in 1965, the first “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition” was held. Until the 12th this time, the history of sculpture has been built for almost a quarter century. In the meantime, Kobe Suma Rikyu Park, Hakone’s sculpture forest, and other cities have become popular. Ube City’s sculpture exhibition was the origin of an important outdoor sculpture exhibition due to the extraordinary efforts made by the Ube City movement until then.
At the beginning, many people wondered why they were in this local city. With the reconstruction of the city, above all, we aim to “create a rich town with a rich cultural atmosphere” such as various movements as human reconstruction, greening movement, flower movement in the city, and sculpture in the city. Then, the history of Ube was created. Every time I visit Ube every other year and hear the story of that time, I know the depth and breadth of its roots and the power of the administration, but it was a difficult role to connect it with citizens I learned that the power of Ms. Yoshie Ueda, like the core, was a big factor. I think that it was possible to precisely build it from the bottom like a pyramid if there were calls and practices for women’s groups and people in the town. Also, many people helped the sculptor when he asked for the installation. When I heard the story of a person who worked hard silently, I was able to touch the administrative entity who was also careful here because of the people in the facilities in the park.
In addition, Ube Industries, which has supported the industry of Ube City, can transport the sculptures of this exhibition by tanker and can give big prizes.
It can be said that over the last 20 years, many sculptors have had the opportunity to create works at outdoor exhibitions, and have continued to grow motivated. Sculptors aren’t economically comfortable either, so people in other genres seem strange to me, but artists are more than happy to realize their creativity, not to start work by receiving orders. It was something that had to be written first here, but now that the cultural movements, especially the outdoor sculpture exhibition, have been planned and have been exhausted as a center to promote sculpture from beginning to end. It is the deceased Sadaichi Hijikata. Every time I was invited to the exhibition, I was very sorry to the teacher who said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you.” The hard work and enormous efforts of the teachers and others involved seemed immeasurable. With this one word from the teacher, we really doubled our motivation to make good sculptures. I realized that in order for a big art movement to be realized, it is necessary to have good planning, guidance and the cooperation of many people.
Although the sculpture is not the same as the construction, it is often impossible to complete it by individual play, and it depends on the material, but production work, movement, transportation, installation, etc. must be done by human resources. Sometimes the term ordering art is used, but it may be the case if you design and produce only by sketching, but in the case of large engraving, we request some advanced engineers or cooperate with the factory In some cases, I get it produced. However, after studying the materials, selection, processing technology, etc., it is necessary to proceed without changing the content of the idea. In the case of abstract sculpture, the limit of shape is an important deciding factor, and this is never possible with the work of others. In the case of new materials, it is necessary to determine the expression method only after mastering material research and processing technology.
Recently, sculpture has developed into a wide variety, and the number of materials and methods of expression has increased. Things that incorporate high technology are no longer unusual.
With the development of the outdoor sculpture exhibition, various ways of being as a sculpture in the city continue to be debated, but in 1981, in Ube City again, Shinpojumu, who had the theme of sculpture for the first time, “Nationwide thinking about urban design in the 21st century. Symposium, open space, greenery and sculpture” was held. It is very meaningful that Ube City has been working on an outdoor sculpture exhibition and holding such a symposium, and it is very meaningful that the government of each region, city planning specialists, architects, designers, sculptors, etc. They gathered from and were held grandly. Since it was my first attempt, I still left many suggestions and ended up in a very passionate meeting. It is a fact that it has made a great contribution to raising interest in sculpture. Last year, I participated in a similar issue of Symbojum held at the Museum of Sculpture in Hakone, and was raised in Ube several years ago. I felt the size of the ripples. Even in Hakone, I felt that it was still far from seeing the answer and leaving the task, but I thought about the progress of the movement that was being sung after the war. I thought it was a long way before it was accepted by many people, and made me think again about the need for further research.
Open-air sculpture exhibitions have also been held in various places, so the issues of urban construction and sculpture have become more and more discussed. In addition, since it is often practiced in various fields, the construction of museums has been promoted in rural areas, and many sculptures have been placed in architectural spaces, in cities, etc. Looking at the expansion of the place of sculpture in this way, it makes me wonder if they are getting the place properly. Because of the different perceptions of people with different professions, I think the effort that requires re-recognition remains an issue. The fact that sculptural works have gained a lot of joy is a great gift for the efforts of various fields for a long time, but on the other hand, there are required issues, restrictions, public sense, and design. There are few problems that make us think in various ways, such as requests and arrangements with other spaces. Above all, it is important to be able to handle the space with the original artistic and originality of the sculpture.
I think that it is time for the outdoor exhibition to come back and think about it.