日期：2019-10-05 ~ 2019-11-17地点
― 用雕刻刀挥洒诗篇的木雕家 ―
1951年深井隆出生于群马县高崎市，东京艺术大学雕刻科硕班毕业后留校任教直至退休，现任该校荣誉教授，可以说是日本雕塑学院派的代表人物，虽然他的年轻时期面对的是极限主义当道的世界潮流，也曾经尝试着去创作像极限主义的作品，却很早的发现那不会是他的路线，一直到受到英国巴里．弗拉纳根（Barry Flanagan, 1941 ~2009）、东尼‧克雷格（Tony Cragg, 1949~）、安东尼‧葛姆雷（Antony Gormley, 1950~）等人的影响，他们的创作既不属于任何派别，又能自由地发挥具有自己的个人特色。这种创作存在的可能性让他的创作能够稳定的持续发展。英国皇家艺术学院的研习期间，他有了重新省思自我的机会，以日本精神文化为基盘，西方造形为架构，成就了深井的作品，也是具有不附属于任何派别，但又具有识别性，对艺术家而言何尝不是一种理想的状态。
「いつもと変わらぬ今日 / 今天还是一如往日
いつもと変わらぬだろう明日 / 明天也会如往昔一样没变吧
あるとき / 有时候
そよめく风に、直降する阳光の中に / 在微风中，在直射的阳光里
いろいろな幻想が顔を出し / 种种的幻想显现在脸上
自己の内部に変容した日常を発见する / 发现自己内在变迁的日常
一时の流れの中に永远性を求めようとする刹那 / 片段的时间流之中追寻永恆的剎那
そこに在る日常は何を语りかけてくれるのだろう… / 在那裏的日常或许会对我们诉说着什幺吧…」
Poetic and Philosophical Sculpture – Takashi Fukai Exhibition
– A woodcarver crafts poems with carving knives –
During a visit at the Department of Sculpture, National Taiwan University of Arts several years ago, Mr. Takashi Fukai brought along a dark green cloth hardcover of collected poems, Sheep’s Hands: CHRONICLE. Upon receiving the book, I was overwhelmed with admiration for the artist who also writes poems or literary pieces. I did not know until later, when opening it, that I found it to be a chronicle of his works. The forms of his wood sculptures amazed me with a literary quality. They were marvelous pieces of modern poetry, or thought-provoking philosophical essays, despite the fact that there were indeed a short poem and three pieces of prose in the book that seemed to complement his sculptures.
In 1951, Fukai was born in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture. Before retirement, he had been teaching at the Department of Sculpture, Tokyo University of the Arts ever since graduating from its master’s program. Now as emeritus professor at the university, he can be said to be a representative figure in the Japanese world of sculpture marked by his professional training background. Born into an era when minimalism dominated the world, he had made a few minimalist attempts but realized that it was not his thing at an early age. The works of Barry Flanagan (1941-2009), Tony Cragg (1949- ), Antony Gormley (1950- ) and other British artists exerted an enormous impact on him. They do not fall into any school, and are characterized by a uniquely free, personal style. This artistic possibility inspired him to create on a continuous basis. Further studies at the Royal College of Art, UK, gave him the chance to rethink himself. Fukai pursued art with Japanese spirit and culture as a foundation, and Western form as a structure. Isn’t it, in some ways, ideal for an artist whose works are not attached to any school yet highly distinguishable?
One of the series on display at the exhibition, “Dissipating Thoughts” comprises nine works, with Dissipating Thoughts – Quintet newly created for this solo exhibition. This marks one of the most representative series in his artistic career so far. Five of them are about horses: flying winged horses, or those with four legs locked to the ground, yet stretching upwards to their fullest. While remaining static, there is a sense of dynamic force lying behind them. There are also house-shaped works, two made of wood and two of stone. The simple houses are accompanied by narrow courtyards, and the fact that they are named “Sojourn” reveals Fukai’s or Japanese’ longing and expectation for “home,” or a place to sojourn. Furthermore, Spring – Blue Sky is a vessel-shaped marble sculpture with flying wings at the mouth that unveils physical and spiritual meanings. There are also two prints and pastel paintings in which main characters have silently become frozen somewhere in space where Fukai’s vertical and horizontal times converge and evolve.
Fukai’s wood sculptures are hard to categorize. He has been creating chair-shaped camphor wood sculptures from early on all the way through his career. Apart from sofas, apples, books and wings, new subjects ranging from horses, houses, cylinders, cones, vessels to bouquets have gradually been incorporated into his repertoire. His artworks demonstrate great craftsmanship, with the form expressed minimally yet powerfully. The sculpter always seems aware of the spaces around the artworks so that his exhibition areas are ethereal to the extent of being almost mysophobic. Or perhaps it is a result of Japanese Zen thinking, as well as Fukai’s early minimalist aspirations.
As to the relationship between the self and artistic philosophy in Fukai’s practice of wood carving, the Japanese sculpture critic Tadayasu Sakai said in a review, “It is a kind of physical transformation to escape from the shackles of wood as a material in response to other materials, but I would like to call it translation.... Why? To the poet, it is like the mother tongue in that we sometimes get neurotic about the language. Your [Fukai’s] persistence in wood sculptures and technical virtuosity with the material cannot be overemphasized. The spirituality evoked by the nature of wood, too, cannot be overlooked.” As he said, Fukai’s items are obviously permeated with a strong aura or spirituality. This attribute is more or less shared by all sculptures, but manifested most strongly in his works.
I would call Fukai’s works sculptures made of wood as material, rather than wood sculptures. A quintessential part of his art pieces, the wood material is either waxed to bring out its natural wood color, or be covered with gold foil, silver foil, copper foil in copper green or others probably to tone down the strength of the wood material. Both these aim to strike an ideal balance between the material and artwork.
Time and space
Despite the fact that dynamic subjects such as the wings and horses are explored in his works of art, a static ambience can be found in his exhibition venues. There is a clear concept of time in his pieces: The horizontal time calculated by minutes and seconds flows into our daily surroundings, while the vertical time runs into the past and future. His works appear to be perching on a fixed interface at the intersection of horizontal and vertical times. Or we might say that Fukai’s sculptures should be appreciated along with the space around them. At a closer look, you will be impressed by the stunning ingenuity of his carving skills and the beauty of the material itself. Human existence is underscored with human absence in the whole exhibition area, if viewed from some distance. It seems like there is the concept of a “door” within the space, where metaphorical flowing and interweaving of both the horizontal and vertical times exist between the present and future. The now is merely a fleeting moment of our existence.
Another contribution Fukai has made as a teacher is that he has trained a great number of remarkable sculptors, including Koji Tanada, Shinichi Hara, Yoshimasa Tsuchiya, etc., all influential figures in the contemporary world of art in Japan. In addition to his retirement exhibition, meanwhile there was a joint exhibition of Fukai and his students hosted at the University Art Museum of Tokyo University of the Arts. While the students’ works were mostly created out of wood, there were still some pieces made of other materials, and even crossover image creations. Above all, none of them showed any hint of influence from him in terms of form. Perhaps it was because of the personality traits of Fukai, a professor with such a prestigious status, that his artistic styles did not creep into his students’ artworks.
I would like to end with a short poem by Fukai that had been printed on the flyer of his solo exhibition in 1979.
“いつもと変わらぬ今日 / “Today is like any other day,
いつもと変わらぬだろう明日 / So I guess tomorrow will stay the same, too?
あるとき / Sometimes,
そよめく风に、直降する阳光の中に / In the breeze, under the direct sunlight,
いろいろな幻想が顔を出し / Numerous fantasies play on the face.
自己の内部に変容した日常を発见する / I find my inner self changing with each day,
一时の流れの中に永远性を求めようとする刹那 / Searching for a moment of eternity within fragmented flows of time.
そこに在る日常は何を语りかけてくれるのだろう… / The daily life there might probably whisper something in our ears.”