The Future Perfect

The Present Tense

"Mikakiuchi" Sculpture and Space: Live Woodcarving by Ryosuke Yazaki

January 18, 2018

For our new San Francisco exhibition, The Future Perfect presents Mikakiuchi, which can be translated as “courtyard of the shrine” or as the artist puts it “sculpture and space” recalling a more personal moment of transcendence.

The new pieces, presented in Ichii, Sequoia and Hinoki woods, as well as terracotta, embody a variety of forms from more traditional looking sculptural monoliths to sinuous and amoebic-seeming cryptograms. Despite their collective impact, each of the one-of-a-kind pieces - regardless of their vivid colors, which range from a bright putty-like blue to a golden yellow - packs a singular emotional resonance, a leitmotif that evokes the human experience and its visceral complexity.

Ryosuke Yazaki, whose grandfather is renowned sculptor Torao Yazaki, was born in Tokyo in 1965. Like his grandfather, Yazaki is considered a master carver and the artist’s work has become increasingly renowned within the art and design worlds. Yazaki began his education studying art at Japan’s Nihon University before pursuing further education in the United Kingdom. His work has won particular acclaim in both Japan and the West and he has been exhibited in multiple galleries across the world.

Yazaki’s sculptures are transcendental handmade forms from carved wood, clay and terracotta. These are visceral sculptures more easily experienced than described: organic spherical forms conjoined by sinuous joints; clusters of geode-like shapes that evoke unknown extra-terrestrial worlds; and enigmatic terracotta works that could be relics unearthed from an ancient civilization.

Evoking the work of seminal sculptors such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Isamu Noguchi, Yazaki’s often-diminutive works convey a sense of mysterious magnetism, much like hidden curios from another time or dimension. Switching between clay, terracotta and wood, the artist is particularly drawn to the materials of his homeland such as the fragrant Hinoki and Camphor woods.

Describing his unforgettable works, forged largely from primitive, elemental materials, the artist has stated: Looking at something – and having something appear in the space around that object – is the true strength and spirit of the artwork. It is not in what you see, but what appears in the absent space, as well as what you feel from the invisible entity within each piece that brings it to life.”

The artist been exhibited at The Future Perfect in 2014, Los Angeles’ M+B and Tortoise Galleries, House Vision Muji (Japan), and Playmountain (Tokyo).