A lot of people often say, “Mr. Tanaka grew up at the contemporary Japanese sculpture exhibition in Ube.” At such times, I honestly thank you for listening.
The Ube Biennale has received many invitations to exhibit since the 3rd exhibition. Thanks to that, I even felt that I was able to work on my own environmental and work issues regarding outdoor sculpture, and that I was presenting a series of series at Ube. I am delighted to have had such a great opportunity to create a vibrant period of my creative activity. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the management and selection committee members and the people involved.
In fact, Tokiwa Park, the venue for this sculpture exhibition, is a special place that I cannot forget, in the midst of what is called youth straightness.
I spent two years as a student at the then Ube Institute of Technology (now Faculty of Engineering, Yamaguchi University), which was less than 10 minutes on foot from the park. It was a difficult time before and after the end of World War II. Although I entered the school, I could not afford to study hard due to the demands of the times, such as military training and labor service. Because I was forced to live in a dormitory, I was always hungry because of food shortages, everyone was always hungry, the victory of Shinto Japan, the outlet of young energy, and the hunger, Tokiwa pond I wandered around. You can say that.
In the middle of the second grade, mobilized students, went to a factory in Kudamatsu City, and for several months engaged in the work of building a submersible transport boat. Then, when I returned home after finishing my term of office, Ube City was almost destroyed by air raids.
The town of Ube, overlooking from time to time, was attributed to the ash dust by the general, and the flattened land continued far into the sea, extending the same plane to everywhere. A terrifying shaking of the bottom of his stomach pierced his body. We didn’t escape the heavy cloud of wartime, whether it left or returned.
At that time, Tokiwaike was a place of escape, where I tried to escape from reality by throwing out the irritation I couldn’t help. There is almost no memory that I enjoyed this pond. However, it was also a resting place that healed the hunger of mind and body simply by looking at the surface of the water. Occasionally, a flash of light running through the dusk raised the anxiety of a war of unknown nature.
Eventually, the end of the war was reached here.
Tokiwa is a special place that engraves the track of my painful youth. And I can say that I was deeply involved in the nature of my human formation during the crucial period of my youth.
After that, I went to Tokiwa at the time of the 1st Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition in 1965. I was amazed. The pleasant green grass, wide lake surface, and bright sunshine were all pouring down. I don’t know that Tokiwaike pond anywhere. Rather than the splendor of the sculptures placed, I was first amazed at the newly transformed appearance of the park. Tokiwa was resurrected with the town of Ube.
And now, the 13th exhibition on the theme of “Light and Earth” is about to open again.
Until his death, with the dedication of the late Sadaichi Hijikata, Yoshitana Yanagihara, Ryokichi Mukai, local mayor Toshio Hoshiide, late Jiro Iwaki, Yoshie Ueda, and other great ancestors. It seems that the birth of Japan’s first outdoor sculpture exhibition hall has already entered the mythical field. I sometimes talk to Ms. Ueda who is still working hard, but Dr. Mukai himself runs a bulldozer and the cost of lawn planting is low, so at first, weeds are held and wheat seeds are seeded. There was no end to the legendary story of sowing, and the creation work and environment creation had extraordinary effort.
We would like to express our gratitude to all those who have cooperated since the time when the sculpture exhibition was first established and until today’s success.
Here, Tokiwa Park has a good natural environment as a place for outdoor sculpture. The exhibition space itself is not so large, but the space where the visual function is important, which extends from the gentle slope to the wide lake surface and over the hills of the pine forest on the far shore toward the sky, has an infinite extent. , It is wonderful to create a wide and fresh space where different spaces are created by connecting different spaces. For that reason, the image composition of the creation of the work may be said to be very versatile, or it may have more freedom. Therefore, I think the scale of the works will expand to such a size that the spread of this environment stimulates the motivation of the artist and naturally brings out the full potential. It is thought that the goodness of the setting, which skillfully incorporates this blessed nature, has had a major effect on the basis of which the works have grown year by year.
After the Ube exhibition, open-air sculpture exhibitions were born one after another, and are booming on a national scale, but the Ube exhibition still retains its popularity as the first open-air sculpture exhibition in Japan. It is probably because the natural environment, along with the significance of existence as a mecca for outdoor sculpture, is what makes the artists attractive as a place for works.
28 years after the origination of the outdoor exhibition, during that period, the steering committee made efforts and made efforts toward a more ideal ideal, based on various reflections based on the socioeconomic situation of the time and the current state of art. It has been acknowledged by the public that, as a result of the accumulated sculpture, the sculpture exhibition, which has already been recognized as a directional representation of contemporary Japanese sculpture, has been well received and highly evaluated by the general public.
Even as a writer, I cannot thank the organization and venue that can fully express the possibilities of expression.
Among the recent efforts, the museum award is prominent. A method is gradually being adopted in which this award is not a purchase award, the award is only an honor, and the museum and the artist, in cooperation, purchase a collectable work. This leaves us with a problem, but it’s satisfying and gratifying that the alternative works will be held at the museum at the official price. The Museum Award is also welcomed as one that dispels the suspicion that works that are easy to hold in the museum may be selected, and in the current situation where the number of places that can be installed in the museum is decreasing, Seems to be an effective method.
I’m sorry to say that Mr. Masayoshi Homma, director of the Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, was the advocate of that method, and at the 10th exhibition (1983), I attached a prize to my work and made a plan from the previous year. I attached this work to the construction of Chimi Saitama (designed by Kisho Kurokawa) itself, integrated it into a work of docking that made the architecture itself a work, and had it purchased. This was a great attempt as an art museum, and negotiating with the prefecture was extremely difficult. For me, I was able to get the perfect opportunity to complete it, and I am deeply moved with gratitude.
On the other hand, in the case of this method, if the prize-winning work cannot be installed after the exhibition and it is a large-scale work, the problem that it is even more difficult to store is that the artist is his own work. Is also a serious problem. Immediately incorporating these excellent works into the cultural heritage must be said to be a great loss of contemporary culture. Having said that, moving the work of the outdoor exhibition to another place as it is must be addressed as a major issue. Basically, the work placed there has no sense of unity with the environment unless it is created in the image of being placed in that environment. The outdoor work is the one that is placed there, breathed, and completed for the first time.
How to give the exhibition work a place afterwards is also a matter that cannot be simply discussed. This may be the next big issue when the outdoor exhibition is fulfilling its ideological and responsibility.
At the exhibition, works that release and sink intense energy are placed on the grassland just as they are, and even if they are in the urban space, the contents and images of the works can be fully understood. I sometimes see the situation that I have not done it, but it is a pity.
When thinking about the urban structure and cultural environment of our country, which is currently achieving tremendous economic development, beyond the functional expansion/development of buildings and other elements, under the fundamental new aesthetic sense of nature and human beings, We want to generate a space for human existence. To that end, understanding and cooperation of the business world as well as the administration seems more necessary.
I think it is necessary to deal with the current situation that the outdoor sculpture exhibition is expanding not only to the problems inside the museum but also to the natural and urban environments as a fundamental problem of outdoor sculpture. Now that various kinds of symposiums for thinking about cities, urban spaces as environmental arts, and reviews of town corners are becoming a problem, there may be new ideas and developments.
Even today, exhibitors are struggling to set up and finish their works under the scorching sun. And with the author, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Ube City officials who are willing to cooperate with each other, covered with sweat and mud, and to the people who are one of the driving forces of the Ube Biennale as truly unsung heroes. I want to wait for a wonderful opening.