While enrolled at the Conservation Course Sculpture Laboratory Graduate Department Tokyo University
of the Arts, studying Japanese classical art. In 2005, I completed the Master’s program, and was honored
to receive the Salon de Printemps Award. In 2008,I received a Ph.D. from the same institution.
Since 2009, I have been working at The University Museum, the University of Tokyo as a Project Assistant
Professor. At the University Museum, the University of Tokyo, I utilize past studies to conservation and restoration
various scientific specimens, while also creating pieces that integrate these academic specimens as motifs.
The geometrical series I created based on the experience of restoring mathematical models by German company
Martin Schilling was presented at “Lustrous Surfaces” (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2017),
“Art Meet05” (Arts Maebashi, 2018). I planned an experimental exhibition “Perspectives” to examine
the possibilities and the aspect of synchronicity in contemporary art at the UniversityMuseum, and held the first exhibition
and a discussion event in 2017. When planning this event, I was involved in research, planning, and production with the
magazine ‘Ouroboros,’ which is published by The University Museum, the University of Tokyo, and also wrote an article
entitled “University Museums and Contemporary Art”. / Toshimasa Kikuchi
The work of Japanese sculptor Toshimasa Kikuchi is somehow bewilderingly obvious. With a background and training in restoration work on Buddhist sculptures and having thoroughly mastered the techniques of classical Japanese statuary, he uses wood to create pure forms – geometric and hydrodynamic, as well as figurative. His scientific repertoire is timeless (mathematics, engineering and natural history) but the materials he prefers are resolutely anchored in tradition and include Japanese cypress wood (hinoki), lacquer (urushi) and gold leaf (kinpaku).
The installation is together a series of slender lacquered wood sculptures that represent mathematical models, in the tradition of the famous photographs taken of such objects by Man Ray. Here, these abstract forms, hung from the ceiling like mobiles or placed on the ground like devotional pieces, display a level of skill and virtuosity that is rare in contemporary art. The works are perfect stalactites and eternal concretions that impress with their sculptural beauty at the same time as they open perspectives to a dimension that sculpture cannot attain – that of pure conceptual forms. The fusion between Art and Science at the heart of Kikuchi’s sculpture was primarily inspired by his work as a researcher at the Tokyo University Museum where he continues to organize exhibitions and restore old artworks.