Category Archives: Sculpture

Chōkoku

Reminiscing on far-flung places again today, as I sit shivering in my slipper socks. Hakone was the last stop on our tour of Honshu and, to be honest, a little disappointing on the whole. A tourist trap, with the distinct air of faded-glory. People flock there to tour the National Park in an effort to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji. But it’s often shrouded in cloud. We didn’t see it. And I wouldn’t bother with the boat trip across Lake Ashi or the sulphur springs at Owakudani Valley (a hole in the ground with a giant gift shop). The kuro-tamago (“black eggs”) you’re encouraged to taste at the springs are…well, they’re like eggs…with black shells. And they smell of sulphur.

So I wouldn’t recommend a visit to Hakone then? Well…that’s tricky. Because there were nuggets of real interest. The Pola Museum of Art, for example, where we took in a fantastic exhibition by Emile Galle. And the Gora Grill by chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (of ‘Nobu’ fame). But it was the absolutely stunning Open-Air Museum in Ninotaira that truly saved our stay there…in spectacular fashion!

Opened in 1969 , the OAM was the first alfresco art museum in Japan and the park now houses around 120 works spread over 70,000 square metres. You can spend most of the day there and it made me quite giddy with excitement. Here are a few snaps, which really don’t do justice to the place but hopefully give a sense of its magnificence…

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Ryoji Goto, Intersecting Space Construction (1978)

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Takashi Mine, Primavera (1972)

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Peter Jon Pearce, Curved Space (1979-1994)

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Arnaldo Pomodoro, Sfera con Sfera (1978-80)

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Yuki Shintani, Alba (1972)

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Marta Pan, Floating Sculpture 3 (1969)

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Masamichi Yamamoto, Dream of Ancient Times (1980)

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Tarō Okamoto, L’Homme Végétal (1971)

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Antony Gormley, Close (1993)

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Rainer Kriester, Big Hand (1973)

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Hakone OAM

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Yves Klein, Blue Venus – S41 (1962)

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Shin Yamamoto, [Hey!] (1992)

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Giuliano Vangi, Grande Racconto (2004)

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Carl Miles, Man and Pegasus (1949)

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Barbara Hepworth, Two Figures (1968)

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Santiago de Santiago Hernández, Unidos (1986)

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Tarao Yazaki, Religious Mendicant (1971)

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Joan Miró, Personnage (1972)

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Henry Moore, Large Spindle Piece (1968)

Reflections on Nature

I’ve been a fan of Dale Chihuly since I wondered into a fantastic exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery in 2011. And of course, everyone adores his Rotunda Chandelier at the V&A. So I was happy to queue with the hoards of other fans on a sunny Saturday in June to see Reflections on Nature at Kew Gardens.

Photographs can’t really do the works justice; I’d definitely encourage packing a picnic and heading over. The trail takes in the newly renovated Temperate House and spruced up Great Pagoda; and with the summer flowers starting to come through, it’s a good time to visit. I plan to return later in the year too, to see the sculptures illuminated at night.

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Mausoleum of the Giants

I love a good “immersive sculptural experience”, me. Doesn’t everyone? So when a trip to visit family in Sheffield last weekend coincided with artist Phlegm’s time-limited installation, I was pleased as punch.

Phlegm is a Welsh-born but Sheffield-based muralist, cartoonist and street artist who first developed his illustrations in self-published comics. As well as being able to spot his creations around the Steel City, you’ve also at various times been able to catch him in Shoreditch. He’s bold and exciting; his work dripping with Tim Burton-esque macabre.

The gigantic creations that formed part of this particular event were littered throughout an abandoned warehouse, not far from Kelham Island. We cannily avoided the two-hour queue by arriving just in time to sneak in with the first tranche of the day. You get about half an hour inside, all-in-all, but need every second of that to explore the various nooks and crannies of the factory (itself an impressively atmospheric wonder, soon to be gutted and turned into flats) and gawp in awe at the huge sculptures.

It was difficult to do the exhibition justice on film, and properly convey the scale, but here are a few snaps of his fabulous work.

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[Second photo (foot): Credit – Alison Groombridge]

 

Sculpture II

Wandering through the temporary Frieze Sculpture exhibition in Regent’s Park today inspired me to create another blog post dedicated to my (second) favourite art form. So here’s a few pictures from today and other recent outings…

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Henry Moore: Large Reclining Figure (1984)

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Bruce Nauman: Violence, Violence, Silence (1981-2)

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Ugo Rondinone: Summer Moon (2011)

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Bernar Venet: 17 Acute Unequal Angles (2016)

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Reza Aramesh: Metamorphosis – a study in liberation (2017)

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Igor Mitoraj: Monumental head (2002)

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Otobong Nkanga: In Wetin You Go Do? (2015)

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KAWS: Final Days (2013)

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Rebecca Horn: In the Triangle (1973-4)

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Jaume Plensa: Tribute to dom Thierry Ruinart (2016)

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Miquel Barcelo: Gran Elefandret (2008)

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Urs Fischer: Invisible Mother (2015)

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Eduardo Paolozzi: Vulcan (1999)

The Wonderful World of Sculpture

I’ve concentrated a lot on nature and the physical world in my themed photo entries – be it flora, fauna, landscape – so I thought I’d branch out this time into the art world…specifically my favourite art-form: sculpture. I’m lucky to have family in Yorkshire and so have been to some amazing exhibitions at the YSP, and I’d recommend travelling to the Peak District in nearby Derbyshire for the annual ‘Beyond Limits’ exhibition at Chatsworth House. Make a weekend of it! There are also photos here from shows at Pashley Manor in Kent; from The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA; and from the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres. Enjoy!

Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil (Jaume Plensa)

IMG_40231Cubo I (Arnaldo Pomodoro)

IMG_4036The Engine of Evolution (Marc Quinn)

IMG_4075Contemporary Terracotta Warriors (Yue Minjun)

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blue dogWe Stand Together, Blue Dog (George Rodrigue)

IMG_08871Karma: A Tower of Blinded Men Rising into the Sky (Do Ho Suh)

IMG_40201Butterflies (Manolo Valdes)

IMG_0452House of Knowledge (Jaume Plensa)

IMG_6783Exterior of Figueres Theatre-Museum (Salvador Dalí)