“Water/proof – Moving Boundaries” is an exhibition looking at the relationship between sculpture and water in works by three young sculptors in their thirties. The show at the alternative space Koganei Art Spot Chateau in western Tokyo was put together by Tomoyuki Miyamoto as a way of overhauling the memory of water in a Japanese context, and the relationship between water and sculpture.
The exhibition featured Kento Nito’s “Another Rain” (2021), a video installation with water, and his video work “catch the air” (2020) in which mist is sucked up with a vacuum cleaner, along with Miyamoto’s concrete sculpture series “Tonneru no saki” (beyond the tunnel) and open studio event “Atelier Trace Jogi #5” (2020) at the gallery. Also showing was Yuta Hayakawa’s “if the ground were round” (2021) a motor-driven installation circulating water and showing the correlation between gravity and drawing.
In recent years, he has concentrated on a group of reliefs in concrete and engaged in concrete-casting performance pieces in front of viewers. He has toured India in order to see its concrete-based architecture, visiting Balkrishna Doshi’s studio in Ahmedabad. His concrete-casting performance piece involves the pouring of cement to make a three-dimensional object reminiscent of a public work, creating a diorama-like concrete object on a large work bench. For his concrete reliefs, he created a series called “Red Image,” coating the surface of the concrete with red enamel paint to express light. These have been described as three-dimensional objects of visually un-matching material and color which therefore give no sense of weight.
Since graduating from university he has continued working in both Tokyo and Nagoya, using his home area of Saitama as his creative and living base. Since his student days Nito has created three-dimensional objects using plaster, at the same time engaging in performance pieces in which he questions viewers about their physical sensations. In the development of a performance piece called “Zokinman” in which he cleans the streets in a costume made of dust cloths (zokin), he is expanding his creative expression to methods that are not restricted to three-dimensional works such as sculptures shown in visual media like video and photographs. In recent years he has increased the number of works requiring spectator participation via performance pieces on the themes of the body, weight, and gravity.
Since his student days Hayakawa has produced installations in the form of devices featuring water, works which have been subject to repeated experimentation and development. One of his representative works is a variation on the traditional shishi-odoshi water fountain holding a single drop of water, a piece which has undergone many refinements. Hayakawa is also interested in water and gravity, and the center of gravity in three-dimensional objects. His fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) sculptures include objects that achieve balance through the incorporation of weights and being hung up. Since the weights are invisible to the viewer, these appear as three-dimensional objects that give the viewer a sense of liberation from gravity.
Koganei Art Spot Chateau 2F