On the occasion of Yutaro Aoki’s solo exhibition ‘osais’
In old days, the plinth for sculpture has had a practical function of appreciating an art. In case of appreciating a particular icon, for instance, a figurative human-body sculpture, the inorganic and abstract form had been preferred for its plinth because people used to be afraid of violation of the scared atmosphere. Of course, in Buddhist, like Shumiza, people had given a symbolic meaning to the basis for a religious statue.
In modern times and later, the relation between a three-dimensional art work or, an abstract craft-work, and its basis became eventually changed. The functionality and role of a basis which supports the symbolic meaning implied within the sculptural work became vague. According as the historical transition, people in the field of art became more aware of the importance for use of plinth in space.
As the well-known American art critic and art theorist Rosalind E. Krauss claimed that the decline of a role of basis intermediating between an actual space of which the sculpture places as a monument and art work as a presentation of reproduction, in fact, the decay of a basis
occurred meanwhile the lost of spirit of monumentality within the idea of sculpture in late 19th century.
Now, there is no pedestal within the work of Yutaro Aoki. He deliberately let them leave as there are on the floor or walls. I suppose that the intention of him leaving sculptural works without pedestals in this occasion promotes the viewer’s appreciation towards his art works to higher degree by moving their own body in the exhibition space. For instance, human body sculpture has a front side on its own, however, as if there is not any front side on a mountain in real (although we can be convinced our perspective that it could has the front), Aoki’s work provides similar experience to the viewer. They do not have neither front nor even back side. In any case, his works constellated on the floor nor wall could engage a certain quailty of environment with its space exhibited.
One time, art critique Yusuke Nakahara pointed out the feature of new environment in art from modern times. He insisted that ‘society of information and mass-production’ is equally considered as an art of urban and in that spectacle, both could be independent without an organic relation but still in dynamics. In present day, I think the environment of which a sculpture stand itself in religious occasion, facing to the front of Iconic sphere has lost to an extend. In Aoki’s words, works has looked down or up depending on the eye level deliberately settled up by the artist himself and that transition of viewer’s perceive provides chance to see not only forms of which works conceals and the space itself, but also something out of conscious. Each piece of art work, in other words fragments of work, shapes unique view of world with receptors physical movements induced by the construction of surrounded objects and environment. In this way, he draw an inference from the condition of exhibition space. Whether works should be displayed on a floor or walls has occasionally changed. Aoki considers the existing and artless environment (a floor and walls) as a skeleton in a sense and he places his work as they are without use of a plinth. Such manner generates inner conversations between sculptural works, surrounded physical condition, and the receptors.
Chief Curator of Yokohama Civic Art Gallery AZAMINO
“A mythology of looking”, (1972) Yusuke Nakahara, Filmart, Inc.
“Sculpture in the Expanded Field”, (1978), “Originality of the Avant-Garde and other Modernist Myths” Rosalind e. Krauss (1994) Libro port publishing