criticism


gA Crossing of Science and Arth

Takuma Uematsu has been active as a young artist who works on sculptures using materials such as stuffed animals.

There is nothing novel in bringing live or stuffed animals in the exhibition space as Uematsu does. Now, the belief in the value of newness has no longer any meaning. One of the famous works of Jannis Kounellis is gHorsesh in 1969, in which ten live horses were tied to the wall in the garage of Galleria LfAttico in Rome. Richard Serra had a live rabbit and a stuffed rabbit in his gAnimal Habitatsh in 1966. In gParroth by Jannis Kounellis in 1967, a live parrot was used. About forty years ago, live and stuffed animals were displayed in galleries.

As for the artworks of Takuma Uematsu, they swing between science and art like a pendulum. The artist who has created this sort of work must be making works pursuing the mystery of life. In his works are concealed his comment and messages. In gI was born ? deer to human (2003),h he made a figure of a person flying up to the sky holding onto horns of a stuffed deer. He gives his comments on this work: gApproximately 1.4 million species of known animals including humans are living in diverse ways on the earth at present. Human beings living at this moment are as many as 6.3 billion plus 6 thousand. If every living being had a will and would be reincarnated when they died, what should they wish to be at the moment when mutual relationships emerged in the material world? How many creatures wish to be reborn as human beings?h Uematsufs concern about the living world of the earth extends to the past, present, and future of animals and plants, expanding images exceeding space and time. It seems as if you were turning the first page of the infinite history of the earth.

On gthe origin (2004),h on the other hand, he remarks, gThis is a work in which a baby covered with white wool that looks like a hybrid between a human being and a sheep turns around in a gyroscope. (comitted) I feel certain mystery in a gyroscope that was born of the earthfs rotation on its own axis, and there is the equation of birth concealed in one point in the center.h This comment connotes the key word gmystery of life.h Attracted by this key word, he must have started and continues to make his artwork. Mystery of life fills him with a sense of awe. We are involved by chance in the lifefs huge universe through the links of life, and this inevitability remains shrouded in mystery. The human race has clarified the secret of DNA, and now they are about to have a hand in the kingdom of God through science and technology. Ifm afraid they are accelerating the destruction of natural environment that makes the entire ecosystem on the earth get out of balance. You might say that the works of Uematsu who has delivered such a warning can provide an opportunity for us to think about science and art.

The collection of his works seems to question us if it is the responsibility of us who are living in the 21st century to think over again scientific technology and philosophy of art, which is also a clue to our happiness. I believe that such a question is hidden in secret in the presentation of his works.

Yoshio Kato, Independent curator
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