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 置物を彫る / Carving a figurine


Wood from Katsurao Village

Venue: Katsurao AIR


Photo : Ai Sugiura

Figurines gather in our homes from nowhere. Some you bought because you liked them, and some may be souvenirs from friends and family. When TV sets were thicker, such figurines used to line up above the TV set. Even today, there are still places where figurines can be found in the cracks and crevices of the home, such as the entryway, on top of the piano, and the windowsill. These figurines with eyes do not make eye contact with us, nor do they speak to us. They simply stand in the space where we live and gaze at the time that passes in our homes as if they are looking somewhere far away. This is an exploration of the mystery of why people accept figurines in their living space. It is a consciousness of wanting to "decorate" and "liven up" the time of our lives. I love each one of the figurines, thinking that they are important items that make us feel "at home," even though they are sometimes random and funny fragments of everyday scenery. During my stay in Katsurao Village, I came across a wide variety of figurines at the homes I visited. Whether we know how they came to be in the house or we do not know why they are there, they are equally integrated into the daily life of the house and become a part of the scenery of the house. Most of the figurines we encountered in Katsurao Village came to the village after the evacuation of the entire village was lifted in 2016, and they are now a part of the life in the village they have returned to. Several of the homes we visited had handmade figurines. They were made during the evacuation of the entire village and during the self-restraint from going out during COVID-19. How to use the free time that will last forever was something that many people around the world experienced in 2020. In Katsurao Village, where "working" and "living" naturally coexist, the idea of making something with one's hands is fundamental. I was able to experience the art of figurines carefully made in Katsurao Village.
During my stay there, using the three figurines I encountered in Katsurao Village as a motif, I carved Local Katsurao Woods to observe their substance in detail. Through the act of carving wood, I experienced the same creativity and time spent using my hands, from the time spent tending to the vegetables and plants to the time spent creating the handmade figurines, and through the act of copying them.


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