As I was in Cambridge this weekend, I decided to pop and see an exhibition I had heard about by a Japanese sculptor called Kan Yasuda. The exhibition, which is part of the Sculpture Promenade at the Fitzwilliam Museum, runs until January 2013, and features two other artists: Helaine Blumenfeld and Peter Randall-Page.
Kan Yasuda is one of the foremost Japanese sculptors working today. Born in the city of Bibai on Japan’s northern island Hokkaido in 1945, he received a master’s degree in sculpture from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1969. He moved to Italy in 1970 on a fellowship from the Italian Government and studied with Professor Pericle Fazzini at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. Afterwards he set up his studio at Pietrasanta, famous for its superior quality marble, where he continues to live and work at marble and bronze sculptures. In 1994/5 he had a one man show at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park. He has won a number of awards for his work in Japan and around the world.
Three pieces of Kan Yasuda’s work are on display. The first, Tensei, Tenmoku (2010), is a pair of large bronze archways which give the impression of doorways or windows.
The other two pieces, Risonanza (2011) and Tempi-Segreto del Cielo (2009), are both made of white marble. They are very large and smooth, and seemed to invite me to touch them. The flatter of the two, Risonaza, actually seemed to want me to lie on it, but I didn’t. Apparently Kan Yasuda likes his work to be touched and experienced through a number of senses, and I actually think that most sculptors ought to have this opinion. There’s nothing like running your hand across smooth, cold marble, and feeling the surface of a sculpture, machining the artist’s hands where your hands are now.
I have to say I wasn’t overly excited by Kan Yasuda’s sculptures, as I tend to prefer less abstract works, but they did suit the environment they were in and they were a pleasure to touch.
As I mentioned above, the exhibition does include work by two other artists as well. If you’re in the area I would certainly recommend stopping by for a quick look. All of the pieces are on display outside the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and there is no charge to see them.