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Art/Photography

This is where the shape of Tokyo Skytree® was born! “The shape of the sled” released all at once

東京スカイツリー®のかたちはここから生まれた!「そりのあるかたち」一挙公開

(TOP image) Shapes with sleds-1 (1978) Collection of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo ©Sumikawa Kiichi

Go, see and feel the world of art
File.25 Yokohama Museum of Art “Kiichi Sumikawa Sleigh and Mukuri”
Miyuki Inoue (Magcal Editorial Department)

I like abstract sculpture.
I tend to think that I don't understand paintings, but when I see three-dimensional objects, my mind somehow becomes free. Maybe it's because you can watch it from any angle you like, 360 degrees, and it simply makes you think, ``It's cool!''...but that's just my personal opinion.
That's why I was intrigued by Kiichi Sumikawa's Sleigh and Mukuri at the Yokohama Museum of Art ever since I saw the poster announcing its opening. I was invited to a preview, so I hurriedly headed out.

On display in the prologue is a model of Kintaikyo Bridge, which is said to have been the starting point for Mr. Sumikawa's creation. Needless to say, it is a wooden arch bridge spanning the Nishiki River in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Born in Shimane Prefecture, Mr. Sumikawa entered the Mechanical Department at Iwakuni Technical School in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where he encountered Kintaikyo Bridge. I don't think Mr. Sumikawa was the only one who was fascinated by the beauty of the bridge's form and made many sketches, but he is ``not just an ordinary person'' because when it was washed away by a typhoon in 1950, it was discovered that a block of wood and stone was When they saw the bridge, they must have thought, ``Even if you look at it as a modern art installation, it's an extremely powerful sculpture.''
The artist's sensitivity is terrifying.


*Left: Mr. K (1960) Right: Mr. S (1959) Collection of the artist ©Sumikawa Kiichi

Mr. Sumikawa entered the Department of Sculpture at Tokyo University of the Arts, where he learned figurative expression through sculpture.
If you look at his works from that time, they are very figurative. Furthermore, Mr. Sumikawa is said to have been involved in reconstructing the faces of ancient people from bones at the request of anthropologists, as well as reconstructing the faces of victims before they were alive from the human bones of victims at the National Police Research Institute. It felt like a super real world...


*Left: MASK (1967) Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art collection Right: MASK VI (1967) Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Art ©Sumikawa Kiichi

Since 1961, when I resigned as assistant at the University of the Arts, my work has undergone a major transformation!
Although he says that he was ``inspired by African masks and the Iwami Kagura masks that have been passed down in his hometown,'' it is hard to believe that they are the work of the same person. Since it is a “MASK”, it must have something in common with a “face”, but why did it become like this?
It's so powerful, free, and wonderful that I can't help but scream, "Here it is!" in my heart.

In 1967, at the same time that he returned to the Department of Sculpture at the University of the Arts as a lecturer, he began to work with materials such as stone and metal, and since then he has created works using a variety of materials. To the untrained eye, it's so diverse that it seems like anything is possible, so no matter how many times you watch it, you never get bored.
The encounter with stone and stainless steel then expanded to include public spaces, including outdoors.

Yes, Mr. Sumikawa is the design supervisor of this century's largest public building, Tokyo Skytree®.
That is not all. It seems that they were used in various places on a daily basis, such as Ipponbashi and Dokeibashi bridges spanning the Ooka River, and Kamoike Bridge spanning the Tsurumi River.
Naturally, the actual work is not on display, but I realized that he was an artist with deep ties to Kanagawa Prefecture, and I was fascinated by the introductory panel.


*Shape with a sled (1992) Shimane Museum of Art ©Sumikawa Kiichi

The theme of Chapter 4 is "Takumi Sori to Mukuri".
Natural wood warps and twists over time, but rather than resisting this nature, he incorporates these changes into his works. I feel that the forms created by Mr. Sumikawa have a natural flow and a sense of excitement, ``at his mercy,'' rather than a sense of stability. It feels like it's swaying with the rhythm of nature, and I can't take my eyes off it.

Japan has a wide variety of trees, which is why traditional techniques such as the wooden construction of temples have been cultivated since ancient times.
“Just like humans, trees have their own unique characteristics, and when you touch them, they begin to speak.By listening to their voices, we created a ``curved form'' that takes advantage of the essence of the material, such as the beauty of the wood's skin and the natural colors. I want to carve it out,'' Sumikawa said.

Wood materials are also on display at the venue. Although it is forbidden to touch the works, it is said that you can touch the wood, so be sure to check out its texture.

Mr. Sumikawa has been pursuing the ``sled shape'' for over 40 years. The scenery in the exhibition room is spectacular.
On the other side of the back wall, in the final exhibition room, Mr. Sumikawa's latest work, released in 2019, is on display.
A dignified sense of tension and a natural carefree feeling.
I would like you to come face-to-face with the actual work and experience it, so I will refrain from posting images.

Lastly, we will introduce Café Ogurayama's customary limited menu.
This time, the soybean flour-flavored latte topped with gorgeous "Oiri", matcha karinto, and gold leaf, "Sori to Mukuri no Soybean Flour Latte (450 yen/excluding tax)" will be introduced. Be sure to try this cute latte, which is a little different from the chic image at the exhibition.

This event has ended.
《Kiichi Sumikawa Sled and Mukuri》
[Date and time] February 15th (Sat) - May 24th (Sun) 10:00 - 18:00 (Admission until 17:30)
*Open until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays in May (admission until 19:30)
[Venue] Yokohama Museum of Art
[Closed] Thursdays
[Fee] General ¥1,500, University and high school students ¥900, Junior high school students ¥600, Elementary school students and under free
*Admission is free on Saturday, March 28, 2020!

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