Contemporary Arts


Born 1970 in Kyoto Prefecture (Japan), based in Kyoto.

Completed the graduate course in sculpture at Kyoto City University of Arts. The greatest charm of Kokufu's art lies in the way he gives physical form the curious inventions of boyhood dreams and the adventures that make a young lad's heart skip a beat. An automobile with sails like a boat. A tiny mobile garden inside a parabolic antenna. A specimen skeleton of a whale-shaped robot. He takes sci-fi-like mechanisms and devises ways they might be put together. But his works don't proclaim an entirely bright future. As anyone knows, science-based technology can sometimes bring great destruction and disappointment. 《Highland Under the Rainbow》 (2008), for example, presents us with a wetland inside an upturned passenger car, evoking the idea of a post-human utopia. And 《Suichu Enjin》 (2012), with a gasoline engine immersed in water, awakens us to the contradictions and capacity for violence of mechanical energy. The engine scatters exhaust gases into its surroundings as it operates, but its motive power doesn't take it anywhere. His recreation of a nuclear reactor in which nuclear fission is controlled by water is similarly a vivid reminder of risk.

  《Parabolic Garden》2010
photo: Seiji Toyonaga
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