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Artcourt Gallery
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Osamu Kokufu: His Work and His Circle
by Artcourt Gallery
Location: Artcourt Gallery
Artist(s): Osamu KOKUFU
Date: 1 May - 30 May 2015

“ I have a sense of myself, even as I am human, as being an extension of something utterly material, and the plants I have begun working with extending from machine construction seem to me a kind of process of reaching toward humanness.” 

(“An Interview with Osamu Kokufu” (conducted by Tsukasa Ikegami on March 2, 2011), in "The Work of Osamu Kokufu", Artcourt Gallery, 2011, p. 26)

Working with vehicular forms as a central motif, Osamu Kokufu (1970 – 2014) created large-scale sculptural works that actually operate and carry out functions. While making use of various industrial products as work materials, he developed original design ideas and structural aesthetics, crafting components by hand as needed to realize numerous unique car and motorcycle pieces. Kokufu’s form-creation philosophy and worldview became known as “KOKUFUMOBIL”, and his “moving sculptures”, which reached completion only upon being operated within actual landscapes, have continued to excite people’s imaginations with visions of future.

Through his combining of vehicles with plants and ecosystems, and his development of garden- and conservatory-format pieces with themes of “movement” and “circulation” that conveyed allegorically reversed structures of the workings of nature and humanity, Kokufu rapidly expanded the scale of his creative output. With its pure spirit with regard to craftsmanship and its ironical questioning of our society’s impending burial by machine civilization, the art of Osamu Kokufu has influenced many of today’s creators.

This exhibition presents 15 major works in which Kokufu was creating or harnessing wind, or traveling with the work itself, including "ROBO Whale", "Sailing Bike" and "Parabolic Garden", along with 65 contributions from many of those in the art world who have supported and loved his work, from pieces in homage and collaborative creations to critiques and essays (37 artworks and 28 pieces of writing). While engaging in investigations of the continually fusing, opposing and circulating energies of machines and nature, Kokufu always sought the “future” from the “here and now”. It is our earnest hope that this multifaceted delving into the “work of Osamu Kokufu” will lead to the discovery of new points of view.


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