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    Sale 2707

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1035


    Price Realised  


    (b. 1962)
    One Moment - (Crabs and Watch on Tile)
    signed and titled in Japanese (on inside lid of box)
    wooden sculpture, glass, gelatin and oil paint
    30 x 20.1 x 10.5 cm. (11 3/4 x 7 7/8 x 4 1/4 in.)
    Executed in 2006

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    Fuyuki Maehara's sculptures possess a poeticism that the artist himself finds akin to a haiku poem; condensed, succinct yet meticulous. Encapsulating an interpretation of daily events of his life, Maehara recreates these moments through the delicate and highly arduous craft of woodwork. He is self described as an artist who finds beauty in the most ordinary scenes and environments, in overlooked corners and often, in moments the greater majority describes as vexatious. Maehara respects even the smallest objects as he believes that all matter has an existing will to live despite its acknowledged eventual fatality. This profound notion elicits an admiration that inspires Maehara not only to re-create this strength to live in painstaking detail but also to prove to himself that he possesses the technicality and diligence to breathe life into a mere piece of wood, a task successfully and perfected in these two presented works.

    The entirety of One moment - (Persimmon on Tile) (Lot 1034) and One moment-(Crabs and Watch on Tile) (Lot 1035), is miraculously carved from one single piece of wood, completely not adhesed or broken into smaller components. They are hyper realistic wooden carvings which are subsequently intricately painted with oil paint to further reveal the true texture of his subjects, purposefully marred to mirror reality and not an ideal state of existence. In both pieces, the tiles are chipped and cracked, deceivingly painted to show age with discoloration and accumulated dirt. The unwound molding watch, damaged tile or ripe piece of fruit is surprisingly beautiful in its simple yet eloquent presentation. The aesthetic they represent is complex and distinct in its Japanese flavour; a balance of the fragile and strong, and of a multitude of textures and stories. Reminiscent of a poem or a bonsai tree, Maehara effectively captures recollections and fond memories through the presence of time in his pieces, freezing them in a concrete yet ephemeral instant before the small crabs scurry away or the time sensitive persimmon begins to perish. These elements of his sculptures possess vitality contrary to our understanding of wood as a medium and of the aged watch and fruit, captivating the viewer to reconsider the art of carving in addition to our daily appreciation for the seemingly mundane.


    Fuyuki Maehara- Wooden Sculpture, exh. cat., The Obuse Museum & Nakajima Chinami Gallery, Nagano, Japan, 2008 (illustrated, p. 29).


    Nagano, Japan Obuse Museum & Nakajima Chinami Gallery, Fuyuki Maehara- Wooden Sculpture, 1 August-7 October, 2008.