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Selected Artist

Masayuki Nagase brings more than 30 years experience as a sculptor and public artist to The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water. Originally from Kyoto, Japan, Nagase lives in Berkeley, California and works primarily in public art creating site-specific works for different communities throughout the U.S.

Here’s what the selection committee had to say about Masayuki Nagase:

  • “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, support the original metaphors and challenge 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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