Iwate Contemporary Art vol.5, "Hironori Katagiri /Ghost Memory"
February 24, 2018
"Just after the 3.11 disaster, I drove from north to south Tohoku with my family to see the devastated areas, to understand. I needed to see what happened and what was going on with my own eyes. I was driven by a desire to comprehend such widespread devastation that destroyed so many lives...."
|dates||from Saturday 24th February to Sunday 22nd April 2018|
|opening hours||10 am - 4:30 pm,
closed on Mondays
|venue||Yorozu Tetsugoro Memorial Art Museum,
5-135 Tsuchizawa, Towa, Hanamaki, Iwate, 028-0114 Japan
Filling the Void
Just after the 3.11 disaster, I drove from north to south Tohoku with my family to see the devastated areas, to understand. I needed to see what happened and what was going on with my own eyes. I was driven by a desire to comprehend such widespread devastation that destroyed so many lives.
In Kesennuma where I was born and raised, when I arrived in the area near the fish market where I used to live a long time ago I realised this was real. It was shocking reality, unlike the many shocking images flowing from the media.
All the beautiful trees of Ikkeijima park where I played every day with my school friends have been wiped out, and there is no trace of the shrine where we used to pick up coins. Nothing is left, just the natural rocks, which were part of our wonderful playground, remain as naked remnants. While tracing my own memory, I was at a loss which way I should face this real landscape. I lost the important compass for my memories. Memory that does not relate to reality will become a “Ghost”.
I felt urgently that as an artist I had to start working to fill the void left behind by catastrophic loss. However, I also felt that there is a limit for such expression in the stone that I normally use. What should I do? I needed to find new materials to express new emotions.
In 2014 while working at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, watching other artists working, suddenly I wondered what about trying to combine metal casting and stone. Previously I had made a work of welded iron and stone, but how about trying to pour molten iron directly into the stone? With the guidance of my friend George Beasley, one of the few iron-casting masters of our time, and the help of Kate Thomson, I began casting iron into granite. The granite screaming under the shattering energy of the red-hot iron expresses the incredible power nature can unleash. What is left or replaced can never be the same as it was before. This is the "Ghost Memory" series exhibited here.
Hironori Katagiri, February 2018