Comments on the Silver Prize Winners（1/2）
OHNISHI ───── Thank you. Next, we would like Mr. SHIHO to comment on the Silver Prize winner ‘Dance in the Golden.’
SHIHO ───── From this work on, we don’t have the works themselves. Instead, images of the works will be shown on the screen. With only the images, it is difficult to understand the size of each work. The artist reports that the length from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail is about 90cm, which makes it an almost life-size figure of a fox. The size makes the work quite powerful.
I would like to introduce the artist, Ms. Moe KATO. She lives in Okayama Prefecture. She is a young artist, almost the same age as Ms. Kanako OTANI, a recipient of the Gold Prize in the Art Category.
The title of her work, ‘Dance in the Golden’ sounds very romantic. The concept of this work, as she reports, is as follows; At dawn in Autumn, while she was taking a walk in the woods, a fox suddenly appeared. Almost in the same moment, it disappeared into the woods, as if it were melting into the autumn leaves. She created this work with the motif of that moment.
To tell you the truth, I was intrigued by this work at the Preliminary Assessment and yesterday at the Final Assessment I finally encountered the original. When I made eye contact with the fox, my interest in the work increased. With the Silver Prize being given to this work, I think that many of the Assessment Panel members had the same experience as mine.
I haven’t met the artist and so I searched on the internet for some information about her and her techniques. On this work, she uses Koujiro Washi paper from Okayama Prefecture with the Kanshitsu technique. I presume that the eyes of the fox are made of glass. A realistic animal image is the result, and the legs and other parts are coated in Urushi as gradients rather than sections. Most of her works are based on animal motifs, varying from sweet rabbits and cats to wild deer. She creates these animal works as a series.
I wonder why I get a mysterious feeling from her work, both from the image as well as the original. I don’t know precisely what kind of Urushi is used, but it could be a mixture of Urushi and vermillion. By applying Urushi to the work, it has become strangely vivid. In addition, the work has come to possess a sort of time-dimension that a sculpture does not hold. Of course, this is a sculpture and it doesn’t move, but I do feel a little movement. Because I read the artist’s concept and intention, I might feel this work’s movement and time-dimension more strongly.
I think that she is an artist of the young generation who do not care about the categorization of works into crafts, art, or fine art, which I think is a positive trend. I’m sure she is an artist who will be active in many opportunities. Thank you for listening to my somewhat jumbled comments.