This is the 16th year of the “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition” in Ube City, which has been held in the Biennale system as a pioneer of the post-war open-air sculpture exhibition in all Japan Welcome to the exhibition. This year marks the 18th time this year, including the “Ube City Open-air Sculpture Exhibition” (1961) and the “National Sculpture Competition Application Exhibition” (1963) before this name. 35 years of history and achievements. Indeed, it was built up as a business and brought many suggestions and fruit to the Japanese sculpture world, and changed the city of Ube itself and the eyes of Ube city.
Looking back, the outdoor sculpture exhibition in Ube City is the history and achievements of contemporary Japanese sculpture. Many authors were born and grew up here, and they have directed contemporary Japanese sculpture. It is no exaggeration to say that many of the things that underpin and characterize the modern sculpture world have, for good or bad, been found and developed in this sculpture exhibition. In other words, it is the pulsation of contemporary Japanese sculpture and the character itself.
I’ve been in this summer for over two months now, and a big retrospective of Anthony Kalaw, which was held on September 3rd at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, where I myself will be. I think again about the exhibition.
Kalaw is not just a great British author. In its history of activity, it is the development of contemporary sculpture itself and can be said to be a symbol of it. By following his work, you will be convinced of the transition and existence value of contemporary sculpture, sculpture. Known to the public, Kalaw learned from the great sculptor Henry Moore, who represented this century and became a rich vein of modern sculpture. Moore has completely freed sculpture from monuments and natural reproductions, or from decorative arts.
He threw the sculpture into nature, demonstrating that it was part of nature, landscape, and a community with nature. In other words, he gave sculpture the character of environmental art. And there, he finds the path to great progress in sculpture in the second half of the 20th century.
Kalaw learned from Henry Moore. I was impressed when I learned about Picasso’s sculpture because I was sympathized with him because of Moore’s art.
After that, Kalo was like a knowledgeable, healthy, clear-eyed child, looking at many things, judging brightly and finding his own way … I made progress. If you look at the production of his work over time, you will be able to learn exactly how the contemporary art of sculpture since the 1950s has changed.
However, it is by no means a copy. So you never lose sight of yourself. Consistently flowing in his artistic mind (as mentioned in the “Karou Exhibition” comment by a certain newspaper), is his kindness to people and his trust in human warmth. This kindness gives his so-called abstract expression form a unique richness, brightness and warmth.
In recent years, Kalaw has been passionate about his works, which are narrative, or what can be called architectural sculpture. However, the former case is never an abandonment of abstract forms, and the latter case is not an imitation of architecture.
Just as music can tell a story by a combination of sounds, a sculpture can also tell a narrative by the combination of its material and form. A big drama played by a group of sculptures, or by the three-dimensional modeling group itself, by combining various materials, forms and lights, such as the masterpiece “Troy War series” (1993-94) exhibited at this exhibition. is there. On the other hand, Steel’s enormous work “Tower of Discovery” (1991), which stands quietly in the open space of the Museum of Contemporary Art, denies the function of architecture. It is neither a model of architecture nor a solid you can see. It is a kind of sculpture that can be felt in the body as if it were a kind of antennal art.
He is over 70 years old. However, every time I see him, and every time he sees the new work, he is physically and mentally young.
It’s a long piece, but it’s quite fragmentary, and I’ve been making the impression of the “Karou Exhibition” as I had come up with it. Now, let’s turn back and return to the 16th Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Sculpture.
This year’s “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition”, which corresponds to the 16th exhibition, is a new start year in consideration of the 15th exhibition. However, no one would think that exhibited works and winning works will be different in appearance. In fact, in any sense, it’s a continuation of the previous one, a development that builds on what has been built up to this point.
It is not limited to the “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition” in Ube. Starting with this outdoor sculpture exhibition, or rather, the outdoor sculpture exhibitions in various places that were enlightened by this and found significance and were held one after another, the earlier the outdoor sculpture exhibition, the more early it started. It was full of a sense of openness and freshness. I was foreseen the new beginning and development of contemporary art. Of course, even though there is no technical sophistication in it, I learned the free idea in a good sense and the joy of using the material itself to breathe sculpture outdoors. And, of course, as a matter of course, in the outdoor sculpture, there are overwhelmingly many abstract systems and the materials have become diverse, creating the character of contemporary art.
In other words, in the open-air world of sculptural art, through the outdoor sculpture exhibition, I became aware of the character and significance of contemporary art, and resonated with it. And maturity was born naturally from these movements.
However, it is also true that stagnation and sophistication have emerged as a result of development and maturity. Of course, it is not a bad thing that technical sophistication and no failure appear. However, even if I could see the artist’s face, my heartbeat would stop or be suppressed, and that would be the end of the “disorder” that I repeat like one memorable word. Of course, disorder is neither violent nor mere disorder or disorder. It is, so to speak, a constant attempt and a testimony to the passion for creation.
With over 30 years of “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition”, we have produced many outstanding artists who support and symbolize the Japanese sculpture world today. Among them, many of the early ones did not know the person who relied on and begged, and without them, showed a sensitive reaction to the new stimulus, which is the self in the imitation and groping. I have found it. I also fell in love with the materials and learned the joy and significance of being a material. I could feel the heat there, but I lacked the smartness.
In that regard, in recent years, not only the “Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Exhibition”, but any outdoor sculpture exhibition, the whole sculpture has become sophisticated and smart.
At the time of writing this article, I haven’t seen this year’s exhibits directly, but as far as I can see a lot of them in the photographs, they are in order, refreshing, and beautiful. It may be the maturity phase of this sculpture exhibition itself.
However, humans are discouraged. Even though it is through photographs, knowing the neatly organized works in this way raises the expectation of seeing them directly, and I wonder if I can also meet one or two loud works. There is also a desire to do so…