The Japanese tell of a certain monk named Enku whom, having been born in the Gifu region, in the central part in the country, in the 17th century, carved about 120,000 Buddha statues during his lifetime.
To honour the spirit of the monk, the Gifu prefecture created the Enku Grand Award, which has just reached its 9th edition this year. In 2018, however, the winner was not a Japanese artist, but a Brazilian one. Henrique Oliveira was chosen the grand winner of this edition, exhibiting his works – which, like his most recent pieces, use plywood to create distorted, organic-like sculptures – at the Museum of Fine Arts of Gifu until March 11th.
The show also features the works of another four artists who were also awarded in the Enku Grand Award. Masahiro Sato recreates the life of the ancient times by mixing black ink and resin tempura; Shoji uses mechanical forces like tension, texture and gravity to create his work; Tsuchiya Hitoshi creates wooden works with a mysterious, life-like sense, having animals as his preferred motif. Last, but not least, Tsutomu Miyamoto creates new shapes in various media, such as pottery, wood sculpture and paper clay. Get to know some of these artists’ work below:
“XI Enku Grand Award”, group show featuring Henrique Oliveira, Masahiro Sato, Shoji, Tsuchiya Hitoshi and Tsutomo Miyamoto
On view from February 2nd through March 11th