Published to record a groundbreaking project that brings works of modern Japanese sculpture to European audiences for the first time, including sculptures from the Taisho and early Showa periods (c.1912–37), by the master sculptors Takamura Kotaro, Hashimoto Heihachi and Sato Chozan.
The exhibition (A Study of Japanese Sculpture, Henry Moore Institute, 28 January – 19 April 2015; Musashino Art University, 15 May – 16 August 2015) focuses on sculptural representations of nature, including polychrome carvings of dried fish, birds, a crustacean and cabbage, a stone carved in wood and a hand, modelled in clay, cast in bronze and supported on a carved wood base which extends into the core of the work.
This collaboration with the Slade School of Fine Art and Musashino Art University poses questions for sculpture through a study of subject matter, scale, materials and display.
The essay also documents a response to a seminar featuring Hirotake Kurokawa (Musashino Art University), Akira Fujii (Denchu Art Museum), Clare Pollard (The Ashmolean Museum) and Sophie Raikes (Henry Moore Institute).
Image: Kōtarō Takamura, ‘White Paddy-Birds’, c. 1931, painted wood. Private collection, photo: Tadashi Takamura.