Reception for the artist : Thursday, 21 February, 6 to 8 p.m.
Howard Scott Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of its third solo exhibition by the Mexico-based sculptor, Hiroyuki Okumura, on Thursday, 21 February 2013.
Beginning three years ago, the artist's working process began undergoing an important change, involving a greater degree of spontaneity and with the relationship between his mind-set and both his working methods and iconography being a more direct one. Encouraged by these developments and with increased feelings of confidence, he began - little by little - creating directly in the stone, long his favored medium.He has stated recently, "Simultaneous with the new methods of working has been an awakening of interest in the theme of wind as inspiration and subject matter for the new sculptures. To me, wind is most compellingly a concept of freedom, and I have sought to capture that in these works. Central to its potency for me is the actuality of its great power and its seeming invisibility. I have wanted to give physicality - volume, weight, texture - to its essence."
One of the nine works which will compose the exhibition is the 2012 work titled The North House. Having spoken of a desire to enclose, cage, or - to use his term - "nest" the power of wind, Okumura in creating this form which evokes a simplistic, low-slung abode achieves dramatic tension in a seeming confrontation of powerful wind both within and outside the embattled structure, which lifts one elephantine foot above the stone base in a seeming effort to hold its ground, while its pitched roof is rendered serrate by six parallel slits, as though a monster is determined to escape its confines.
Mr Okumura (born in Kanazawa in 1963 and educated in Japan) originally came to Mexico in 1989 to study the prehistoric works of the native peoples - works about which he was made aware by one of his teachers who had lived in Mexico for many years. Meeting and marrying a Mexican woman determined his choice of where he would live and work for the foreseeable future, though it should be noted that although his language as a visual artist was not directly influenced by the pre-Columbian civilizations, he did feel a strong affinity with their reverence for the landscape and the desire to invoke the spirits of the departed peoples.