ARTISTS / Art after 1945
Hiromi Akiyama

Shadow Time No. 5
© Hiromi Akiyama / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Hiromi Akiyama

Shadow-Time No. 5 / Shadow Time No. 5, 1994

Granite
33 × 48 × 48 cm

(AKIYA/S 8)

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In Hiromi Akiyama's sculpture No. 5 from the "Shadow (Time)" series of 1994, the high aesthetic standards culminate in a technical brilliance with which the sculptor presents the conceivably simple form of two square frame motifs as an extremely complex dualistic sculpture upon close examination, which is also endowed with an unobtrusive symbolic depth. Instead of chiseling two pieces out of the hard Indian granite and joining them together at the end of the sculptural process, Akiyama created his sculpture as a monolith. This means that the supposedly twisted layering of elements, which gives the impression of movement and spontaneity, is actually an immovable state. With the polished sides of these stone squares, which are of different sizes and thus in different areas of contact with each other, the sculptor demonstrates his mastery of surface treatment, which is further enhanced by the fact that the upper broken edge of the smaller square is left raw. In the sublimity of the stone, the viewer associates tranquility; in appearance, it is reminiscent of a monument. Thus the artistry of the given double framing takes on a stronger emphasis, making one more aware of the emptiness: Akiyama here combines Far Eastern philosophy with Far Eastern thought, which considers both being-so and not-being equally important. The emptiness only becomes tangible in the closed boundary (hortus conclusus), and the nothingness, thanks to the framing, lays claim to being accepted as real. With the shadow motif in the title, the artist alludes to its significance for Japanese culture, but it also testifies to the emphasized inclusion of spatial structures in the play of dimensionality: the shadow of a three-dimensional (spatial) object is of necessity two-dimensional, but because of its changeability in time - in contrast to the stone sculpture itself - it conveys the physical orders of magnitude with the fourth dimension.
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