April 16, 2013
by Anna Huntington, community arts coordinator for The Sculpture Project
Pat Wyss, landscape architect and project manager for The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water, recently visited Masayuki Nagase at his home in Berkeley, California. Pat had the opportunity to visit the artist’s home and workspaces and get an update on the progress of Passage of Wind and Water three months after Masayuki was named project artist.
Masayuki picked up Pat at the local BART station after a train ride from the airport and gave Pat a tour of his home studio. The artist is constructing a plaster 1-inch:1-foot scale model of The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water.
“He has completed models of the first five stones in the Badlands Garden, those he’ll be working on this summer. He’ll carve the plaster model before he starts on the granite,” Pat says.
(In July, the artist will begin working on stone number nine in the Badlands Garden, the granite block at the eastern end of the series along Main Street. He plans to complete that one and the next four stones this summer.)
Masayuki then took Pat to his outdoor sculpture studio, a leafy, fenced-in lot in a nearby industrial park.
“He can get trucks in and out, make a lot of noise and create a lot of dust, and no one complains. It’s a perfect studio location for a stone sculptor,” Pat says.
There, Pat got to see a few of Masayuki’s works in progress, including granite benches for a project in Philadelphia and a sculpture he is working on for himself. A nice feature in the outdoor studio was the artist’s “conference room,” an overhead tent with a big stone slab and few chairs under it.
Masayuki and Pat later traveled to the nearby residential island of Alameda to view a completed project that the artist and his wife, Michele Ku, collaborated on at the Alameda Free Library. The granite and limestone tile wall mural, Oracle of the Tree, and the limestone window medallions, “Cadence of Water,” were completed in 2006.
“It was great to see Yuki’s work and home environment. Yuki, Michele and I also got some of the necessary paperwork done to keep that part of the project on sound footing. This was a very productive and enjoyable visit.” Pat says.