Yoshimasa Tsuchiya’s Private Myths

tsuchiya 1 tsuchiya 2

tsuchiya 4

Unicorns, bakus, kirin, fawns and ninyo are just some of the mythical creatures that Japanese sculptor Yoshimasa Tsuchiya fashions out of wood. Largely inspired by traditional Japanese folklore, his chimeric sculptures come from the same imaginary universe as the strange characters in the films of Hayao Miyazaki. Elegant in their majesty, yet seemingly melancholy, Tsuchiya’s sculptures reach intimidatingly life-size proportions. I can only imagine what it would be like to view one of these in a gallery; although they appear quite delicate and fragile, they’re also slightly menacing. Perhaps this is because I only recently discovered¬† – via a crash course in Japanese myths – that a baku feeds on dreams and nightmares and that ningyo bring storms and misfortune.

Anthropomorphism, dream-devouring spirits and bad omens: it all makes for a beautifully mysterious and unnerving art experience.



February 23, 2011