Museum Exploration Reports

Delighting in Art and Nature along with the Seasons
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Shaft II   by Antony Gormley

Shaft IIClimbing up a narrow path thick with Kuma bamboo grass (Sasa veitchii), we came across Shaft II – a work by British sculptor Antony Gormley (1950 – ) – tucked away in the woods. This artist has produced numerous sculptures using his own body as a model. These pieces representing his other selves can be found in various countries, including UK locations by the River Thames, in the basement of Winchester Cathedral, and on a beach near Liverpool.

Gormley selected the location for Shaft II himself after walking around the wood. Since its installation in 1986, the sculpture seems to have further blended into its surroundings as the trees around it have grown.

Related website: Antony Gormley

Four Winds   by Bikky Sunazawa

Four Winds (just after installation)

Four Winds (just after installation)

Four Winds was a masterpiece created by Asahikawa sculptor Bikky Sunazawa (1931 – 1989) in the last years of his life. Made from Glehn’s spruce logs, its pillars were more than 5 meters tall and 90 centimeters in diameter. As suggested by the name, four pillars stood when the work was installed in 1986. However, only one has survived natural decay.

The one column of the Four Winds that has not yet fallen victim to decay

The one column of the Four Winds that has not yet fallen victim to decay

When the work was produced, Sunazawa reportedly said that nature would apply a chisel to it in the form of wind and snow. Like decayed trees, the remaining wooden sculpture will eventually return to nature. The sculptor may have foreseen how the installation would finally turn out when he created it.

Related website: Atelier 3 Moa

Woman,Summer   by Churyo Sato

Woman in SummerThe bronze Woman,Summer statue standing with a water channel in the background was created by sculptor Churyo Sato (1912 – 2011), who lived in Sapporo between the ages of 13 and 20. Hokkaido residents know his works so well that they now bring a sense of security. Churyo is renowned not only for his sculptures but also for his contribution to education in art and design for children, as shown by the numerous art textbooks and picture books he published. The Sato Churyo Children’s Atelier in the Sculpture Garden often hosts workshops at which children can engage in creative activities.

Related website: Sato Churyo Children’s Atelier (in Japanese)

One of the greatest charms of the Sculpture Garden is how the air of the works there changes with the seasons. Cherry blossoms provide color in spring, trees take on autumnal hues in autumn, and snow-covered landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see in winter. My guide Mr. Sato said that he hoped people would come to the garden again and again to find the new discoveries that await them throughout the year.

The Sculpture Garden is open to the public free of charge from mid-January to mid-March, providing visitors with opportunities to view works in the snow while wearing traditional Japanese kanjiki snow shoes. Don’t miss this chance to savor the natural environment and art of Hokkaido.

Related website: Sculpture Garden, Sapporo Art Museum (in Japanese)

(July 2014)

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