The Voice of the Stone

July 10, 2008 - September 27, 2008
Atsuya Tominaga

The Ippodo Gallery will present The Voice of the Stone, an exhibition of stone sculpture by Atsuya Tominaga from Saturday, July 10 to Thursday, July 31. Tominaga, born in 196 is a highly original and influential force in contemporary Japanese sculpture.

Vox Petra

I long to hear the voice of the stone
Yet sparing of word is Petra
Solid and imposing from her beginning ¨Drawing me to her side
Chisel in hand, I seek greater proximity
Reaching out to touch her heart 
And then perhaps to catch the sound of her voice

-Atsuya Tominaga-
Tominaga has coined the term 'ninguen' for the shapes he carves in his quest for the voice of the stone. That term alludes simultaneously to the Japanese word for 'people' and to the Portuguese word for 'nobody'. "The more I seek the human element," Tominaga suggests, "the more distant the stone becomes." That paradox characterizes the sculptor's diligent efforts to capture the sound of the stone bound voice.

Ippodo, a familiar name to discriminating gallery-goers in Tokyo, opened its New York gallery in the Chelsea district in March 2008. Since 1996, Ippodo has presented the work of living exemplars of traditional Japanese arts, including newly emerging artists and established masters alike. It illuminates new possibilities in painting and sculpture and in diverse genres of craftwork.
Profile: Atsuya Tominaga

Tominaga worked in a granite quarry in Osaka Prefecture for 10 years after graduating from university. He subsequently studied stonecutting in Italy's north-Tuscan district of Pietrasanta, famed for its marble, and he worked in limestone near France's Lascaux caves, renowned for their Paleolithic paintings.

1961 Born in Osaka
1984 Graduates from Kanazawa College of Art
1986 Wins prestigious sculpture prize in Osak
1980s Exhibits extensively in Japan
1990s Exhibits extensively in Japan and worldwide

Atsuya Tominaga
Atsuya Tominaga