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About Sculptures of Kan Yasuda

I have once described the marble sculptures of Kan Yasuda as, in a word, extremely meditative tranquility.

I did not elaborate what meditative sculptures actually meant. I wanted to say that certain sort of art works always referred to relation between humans and nature. Because it is same humans who create sculptures and meditate, they can always meditate through works which confront nature.

It is indeed mysterious that the works of Kan Yasuda create new nature and scenery which is most suitable to the sites, wherever they are installed. Considering the fact that, however, it is humans who discover such new nature and scenery, we realize that presence of the works is imperceptibly surrounded by non-existing presence.

Tensei and Tenmoku in the ruins of ancient Rome create the exactly same natural space as those on lawns in Bibai, and present us space beyond time. The newly created nature neither departs from the existing nature nor precisely penetrates it. I would say that it creates new meditation in fusion of new and old, and continues whispering quietly to life of humans.

At the outdoor solo exhibition in Milan in 1991, his marble sculptures blended into the city much more than the sculptures of Pomodoro did. The exactly same voices of marble were presented at the exhibition in beautiful nature of Yorkshire Park in 1995 as well.

We live through or owing to some existence other than humans. I believe that, in the case such existence is white marble, the works of Kan Yasuda send us the message that we should consider the opportunity that existence drawn by the space teaches us how to live, particularly through much of meditation.

A series of the works of Kan Yasuda presented this time at a large exhibition in Hokkaido, his native place, keep drawing our attentions. Undoubtedly, his works exist as if they have long existed there. In a sense, we would be able to witness the moment that scenery becomes art, art becomes scenery, and new natural space is created in an extremely meditative manner.

It means that we would have an experience to find that the fact new natural scenery is created in Hokkaido means new scenery can be created anywhere. Such an eternal trace as meditation should be maintained in tangible works by a single artist. I believe that it is extremely necessary to place a purpose in life being dialoged by art works in front of extraordinary life of today.

Masaaki Iseki
Director of Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum


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