Shigeo Toya Forest - Lake Regeneration and Memory


- 2022.01.16.Sun.

One of Japan’s leading sculptors, Shigeo Toya has spent his career reconstructing the very concept of “sculpture” in a dedicated exploration of what exactly constitutes sculpture. Etched deeply in his works carved from wood by chainsaw are critiques of the modern world, insight into the human condition, memories of the land, and incredible imagination when it comes to the natural world.

For Toya, “forest” is synonymous with “sculpture” and a creative wellspring that has served as his core language for perceiving and molding the world. At this exhibition, inspired by the temporal and spatial qualities of a venue situated beside an artificial lake created by damming the Yoro River, Toya presents works on the themes of forest, land, and waterways, with a focus on the vast void of the museum’s atrium space.


Photo: Shigeo Muto

Shigeo Toya[1947-]

Born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, in 1947. MA, Graduate School of Aichi University of the Arts. Toya started his artistic career with his attempt to reconstruct sculpture as a medium, which had been deconstructed by the preceding art movements such as postminimalism and mono-ha. Since the 1970s, the artist has diligently pursued the principles and structures of sculpture, which resonate with the epistemological foundations of our very existence, underscoring their essence and possibility through his artmaking practice. By manipulating various art histories of all times and places, encompassing the period of cave paintings and Greco-Roman sculptures to contemporary art, with his bona fide sculptural philosophy, Toya has been recognized as one of the leading sculptors in Japan, Asia and the Pacific at large.