Artists by Nation - Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2015

Toshio Iezumi, Japan
Toshio Iezumi studied glass-working for two years in the Tokyo Glass Art Institute, where he began to make sculptures out of sheet glass. This work culminated in the development of two techniques; the first: laminating sheets of glass with adhesive into a block as large as one wants; the second: carving glass directly, using a stone carving technique merged with traditional glass-processing. These techniques have enabled Iezumi to produce glass sculptures of a size and form not previously possible. Iezumi is currently a Professor at the Kurashiki University of the Arts in Japan and has been exhibiting internationally for over 20 years in both solo and group exhibitions. With works in a number of esteemed public collections including Corning Museum of Glass, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California, and National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Iezumi has been exhibiting regularly in Sculpture by the Sea since 2007 and exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus, Denmark in 2009 and 2011. Iezumi’s works combine abstract form with transmitted and reflected light. He writes: "I make my works from two points of view - the contour of the piece and the optical reflection and depth."

"Light reflects and refracts inside the body of the work so a complex depth emerges in its form."

Keizo Ushio, Japan
Keizo Ushio is one of Japan’s most highly regarded sculptors. He graduated from the Kyoto City University of Arts and upon receiving First Prize at the Henry Moore Exhibition at the Hakone Open Air Museum in 1979 began developing his signature style of sculpting. His ingenious carving technique is influenced by the mathematics of the Mobius strip, typically known as a one-sided, one-edged surface, which is notoriously difficult to create with materials of great weight and density. This reversed loop seems incompatible with the hardness of the stone but it symbolizes and skilfully expresses the unity of a contrary nature and lies at the core of what makes his work so interesting. Ushio has exhibited at every Sculpture by the Sea exhibition since 1999 in Sydney and Perth, and Aarhus in Denmark in 2009 and 2011 and is represented in public and private collections in Japan, Spain, Iceland, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Israel, India, New Zealand, the USA and Australia. 
Haruyuki Uchida, Japan
Haruyuki Uchida is a renowned Japanese sculptor in the field of kinetic art. Uchida uses magnets to create illusionary effects in his works. His work is often characterized by bright colours such as Shu-iro, a bright Japanese red. Uchida has had many solo exhibitions in Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka. He has also been the recipient of many awards, including the 29th Teijirou Nakahara Prize in 1998 and the Grand Prize at the 15th International Art Exhibition of Japan in 1984. At the International Symposium of Open-Air Sculpture in Pusan in 1994, Uchida was awarded a prize from the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea. In 1997, Uchida was the recipient of the Grand Prize at the 17th Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Sculpture. Uchida is represented in numerous important collections in Japan including the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura; Sapporo Sculpture Garden; Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art; and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. He is also included in international collections such as, Pusan Olympic Park, Taipei Fine Arts Festival, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, and the Holmes a Court Collection.

"The artist aims to create sculptures that are closely connected to gravity."

Yoshio Nitta, Japan
Yoshio Nitta was born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in 1969. He studied sculpture at the Kyoto City University of Art, graduating in 1994. Prior to this, Nitta studied Japanese painting under his mentor, the Japanese painter Shingo Hoshino. He has had several solo exhibitions in Japan including the city of Osaka, and many group exhibitions outside Japan, in Australia, Denmark, Korea and UAE. He has participated regularly in Sculpture by the Sea since 2005, and he exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus in 2009.  He completed an Artist Residency in Korea in 2009. Nitta’s work appears in private and public collections internationally and around Australia, and his work is represented in the Town of Cottesloe sculpture collection in Perth, Western Australia.     
Akiho Tata, Japan
Akiho Tata is a collaborative of two artists from Japan. Akiho was born in 1959 in Takamatsu, Japan and graduated from the Meizen University Japan in 1980. Tata was born in 1957 in Takamatsu, Japan, and attended Nagoya University, Japan. Akiho debuted as a stone sculptor in 1989 at the Kasaoka Stone Sculpture Symposium, where Tata assisted her with carving. Since then, working under the name of Akiho Tata, the artists (now married) have exhibited at a large number of symposiums and exhibitions throughout Japan. The artists have been awarded many prizes including the Nagano Sculpture Prize and the Takamatsu City Prize. Their work can be found in many public collections throughout Japan.

"In Australia the mysterious power of the natural forms creates a feeling of the fantastic."

Zero Higashida, Japan
Zero Higashida was born in 1958 in Hiroshima, Japan. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Nihon University and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Interested in the symbiotic relationship between strength and nurturing, Higashida uses formal strategies of scale from the massive to the infinitesimal to convey interconnection on an atomic level. His sculpture embodies the Japanese notion of ‘chiritori’, the planet’s power to heal and restore itself. Since graduating, Higashida has had solo exhibitions at Kouros Gallery, New York in 1994, 1997 and 2010, Shonandai MY Gallery, Tokyo, 2009, Gallery G, Hiroshima, 2007 and 2008, Robert Steel Gallery, New York, 2003 and 2005, Contemporary Sculpture Centre, Tokyo, 1999, Atagoyama Gallery, Tokyo, 1995 and Philippe Staib Gallery, New York 1991. Higashida’s work is represented in private and public collections including the Bunri University of Hospitality, Japan, the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art Sarasota, Florida, Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey, Okazaki Mindscape Museum, Japan, College of Staten Island of the City of New York, New York, and Edward Franklin Albee III, New York.
Takahiro Hirata, Japan
When, in 1992, Takahiro Hirata studied oil painting as a student of Nagoya University of Art, he felt that there were limitations in his ability to express himself through painting. He sought new ways to do so, and through his exploration of different materials finally met and flourished with the medium of stone. Hirata has been exhibiting works in stone for over 20 years now. His works are talismans, pervading goodness both from within and the forces beyond.   Hirata writes: "In Japan, an arrow represents a talisman shooting evil spirits. A shining arrow breaks through darkness." 
Koichi Ogino, Japan
Koichi Ogino has been exhibiting regularly in Sculpture by the Sea since 2004. Ogino writes poetically about his inspiration and artistic processes: "I live in a small world, looking up to the sky to see clouds, feeling the wind and staring at mountains to think of woods, rocks, and streams. And then I imagine seas. My expression is possible only here. Here comes spring. I pretend to look busy until the silence of winter comes back. I love the winter season. In the winter of Niigata, all the ground is covered with snow. All living things fall into sleep. My heart melts when I face stones in silence. They breathe in my thought and tell me something. Shapes are completed all too soon. Various people live on the earth, having their own thoughts and ways. Although they exist individually, once the individuals gather, a much stronger power will appear. I think gathering various personalities’ makes for powerful expressions. We don’t live alone. We live supporting each other. When I face stone produced from the earth, it fires my imagination, and leads me. My works are collaborations between the stone and myself."

"We live on the earth having nothing to do with a lot of other people. To help each other, we need to be considerate of our neighbourhood and be at peace with the world."

Tetsuro Yamasaki, Japan
Tetsuro Yamasaki was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1958. He received an education in the fine arts at the Tokyo Zokei University, from 1979 - 1986. Yamasaki creates sculptures primarily in steel and iron. He has a great affinity with steel and enjoys the ease at which he can work with this metal. This affinity is particularly significant for Yamasaki as a Japanese artist, as in Japan steel is linked to both daily life through everyday items such as household utensils, and to Japanese culture through items such as Japanese swords. Yamasaki’s recent works come from his Metamorphosis series, which the artist begun to develop in 2002. His works have been seen in 12 solo exhibitions between 1987 and 2013, and in numerous group exhibitions and sculpture contests.
Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe
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