Utilizing the traditional method of woodcarving of “Ichibokuzukuri,” using a single block of wood for sculptures, Koji Tanada crafts both enigmatic and elegant figures. In a show running at Mizuma Art Gallery, “Unclothed and Clothed,” the artist’s latest figures and busts are displayed. Between each work, the women crafted by the artist exhibit power, grace, and vulnerability.
“From the curve of a jawbone, seeming to lift up ever so slightly in resistance to gravity, down to the tips of feet that seem braced for the unknown: the details of Tanada’s works seem to bear a particular tension,” the gallery says. “The contrast between this tension and his figures’ maternal sense of warmth and affection preserves the delicate equilibrium within which his works exist. These powerful female statues, freed from the contradictions of the woodblock and wrought into appearance by Tanada’s hand, at once exist on the boundary lines and are the connectors of worlds.”
See more of his work below.