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On the blog: Welcome back, Yuki

June 5, 2014
by Anna Huntington, The Sculpture Project

As Rapid City eagerly looks forward to sculptor Masayuki Nagase’s return later this month, we wanted to reflect on what Yuki brings to our community and why it’s such an extraordinary privilege to share in his creative process and artwork. The comments below came from members of the committee that selected Yuki to be the artist for The Sculpture Project in October 2012. Committee members had met and interviewed Yuki and extensively reviewed his proposal for Passage of Wind and Water. Their comments resonate profoundly now that we have lived with Yuki’s work in our “village green” for a year.

  • “Yuki is a poet. He works to distill and refine his experience into the most essential form—the least amount of  ‘details’ or ‘words.’ He attempts to capture the character and action of the wind rather than draw a picture of it. This to me is why his work is the most universal and the most timeless. He manages to put into forms and shapes the way I experience this landscape—it is simple and powerful. A potent force.”
  • “…Yuki concentrates on the verb: what it happening, the movement of the wind or water; while more literal artists concentrate on what ‘is’… the noun, and those things will change while the action remains the same.”
  • “The sculpture of Masayuki Nagase possesses a kind of simplicity, refinement and uncommon purity which make the work timeless and at the same time, universal. It is fine art and devoid of commercial entertainment, though one could be occupied at length studying and interpreting the images.”
  • “He has identified wind and water as metaphors; basic, vital elements in the forming of the Black Hills and Badlands regions to be used in the designing and carving of the stones at the Main Street Square site. These simple metaphors will invite our viewers to pause, ponder the meaning of the stones, and personalize the content.”
  • “Yuki's sculpture is engaging. Unlike a literal representation of an object, the sculpture will ‘wear well’, as visitors will return again and again, not tiring of the art and frequently discovering something new.”
  • “His use of other symbols, in abstracted fashion, supports the original metaphors and challenges us to think. He hints at the presence and the speed of the horse in our region by incising one side of a stone with the running legs of horses. By not carving the whole animal, the visitor is encouraged to participate in the creation of the image, therefore the story. He plans to use the hand imprints of local children and adults to tell more of the story on the two large towers.”
  • “Yuki has a subtle but powerful vision for the granite sculpture project that is inclusive of the entire community. Everyone will be able to find their story in Yuki’s work and the sculpture will become part of Rapid City’s legacy for years to come.”



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