18th September 2017

Upon starting a new academic year, I have been considering the current path of my practice. My decision to continue with the work that I ended on last term (May/June) is based upon the fact that I assume any approach that I take to my studio practice will ultimately lead me to my current thoughts, interests and ideas. At the beginning of the last academic year (September 2016) I struggled defining and grounding my work on a singular and significant motif. This lead me to my consideration of the lithography limestone as a ‘floating signifier’ or as a tool, representative of myself as the artist.

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I often think about Kyoto’s zen gardens, and have recently discovered the ‘Mono-Ha’ collective.

Mono-ha (もの派) is the name given to a group of 20th-century Japanese artists. The Mono-ha artists explored the encounter between natural and industrial materials, such as stone, steel plates, glass, light bulbs, cotton, sponge, paper, wood, wire, rope, leather, oil, and water, arranging them in mostly unaltered, ephemeral states. The works focus as much on the interdependency of these various elements and the surrounding space as on the materials themselves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono-ha

Nobuo Sekine (b.1942) is one of the key members of Mono-Ha, and is a Japanese sculptor.

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phase-mother-earth-1968-04Over the summer break I have thought about casting my limestone in wax or plaster, and attempting to create physical multiples of something which is completely unique and unrepeatable. Having already created multiples of the stones face in the lithography workshop, I intend to cast and repeat its 3-dimensional form.

In order to satisfy my fascination with the Japanese zen gardens, I would like to re-create the formations of the rocks in the gardens with my limestone replicas. My intention is to look further into the study of topology by playing with ‘abstract space and connectedness’.

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Phase of Nothingness, 1969 / 1970
Marble, stainless steel
450 x 420 x 130 cm
Installation view, Japanese Pavilion, 35th Venice Biennale, June 22 – October 20, 1970. Photo: Yoriko Kushigemachi.

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Phase of Nothingness, 1969 / 1970
Marble, stainless steel
450 x 420 x 130 cm
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 1978-, Humlebæk. Photo: Claus Ørsted.

In July 1970, along with Shusaku Arakawa, Sekine was chosen to exhibit at the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He contributed Phase of Nothingness, which consisted of a large stone placed on top of a tall square column of mirrored stainless steel. The column reflects the surrounding scenery and almost disappears from view, while the stone appears to float in the air.

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