I just discovered Yuko Hishiyama’s work when I attended the most recent Pecha Kucha night in Tokyo. After a degree from Tokyo University of Art and Music she went to Pennsylvania where she moved away from stone and began sculpting mainly using aluminum mesh. From this thin and light material, she creates large, inflated caricatures that appear heavy but are, in fact, entirely hollow. But they take up so much space that she confessed to not having no more room in her house!
all images courtesy the Haifa Museum of Art
These sympathetic characters are grotesque representations of emotion or mood, making them very approachable. Hishiyama doesn’t color them but, depending on the light, they can completely change colors. As they are empty she also encourages people to put lights inside and play with the shadows it creates.
Yuko is also a good narrator, creating interaction with the space and the public through the staging of her characters. Sometimes they appear as gentle ghosts from a wall, sometimes you may have the impression they just want to hug you or talk to you or make fun of you.
Unfortunately, no exhibitions are planned these next months in Japan nor in USA. We will have to be patient!