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Koji Tanada Exhibition

  • "Girl"
  • 2003
  • paint on wood (camphor tree) single wood-block construction
  • H191xW37xD35cm
Tanada who is known for his wooden figurative sculpture has been exploring for a new form of sculpture by actively combining different material like stainless steel and FRP with wood as its base. However, in this solo exhibition he will present new figurative sculptures created from a simple process of carving a figure and its stand from almost one tree.

Three sisters: "Butterfly, the eldest sister", "Sky, the middle sister" and "Flower, the youngest sister" as its central piece, this exhibition is comprised of all new works. All of them are wearing one item of clothes: a hat, pair of pants and socks on its delicate body, and they are all posing in a standing position though every figure is off balanced and relaxed with their knees slightly bent or with toes turned inward.

Unlike Tanada's past figures, which had characteristic of cold face - a life mask modeled after him and his family was pasted like a mask by different material, while in present work the entire "face" is carved from a wood and colored giving a tinge of intricate complexity that is somewhat troubled, sad, and lonesome. Simultaneously, from the girls' expression which may seem peaceful not only suggest pain and uncertainty of hardships to stand relaxed in this present society, but also perceive the possibility of striving to stand up while being insecure as well as a will towards the future.

This technique, which he began to challenge from last year, is an indication of being strongly conscious of how he can "embody" his "will" into a sculpture and his attempt to confront his subject by carving everything by wood. One's swirling violence and fragility certainly exist in Tanada who says, lately he is seeing "beauty" within painful and vulnerable forms. This Tanada's new series is a result of faithfully expressing these feelings instead of denying it.