Sugihara Nobuyuki is an environmental artist born in 1980 in Omachi, Nagano, Japan, with a Master of Fine Arts in Oil Painting, Tokyo University of the Arts. He has been the artistic director of the “Shinano Kuni Primitive Feelings Art Festival” held every summer since 2010 by the city of Omachi in Nagano Prefecture. Other than that, he spent most of his time traveling around the world for art residencies and cultural research. For the past three years, he has been profoundly drawn to the indigenous culture of Taiwan. He has spent almost half of this time here for creative projects, which mostly connect to the natural environment and primordial culture. He specializes in using natural materials (such as shell, stone, wood, earth, grass, rope, net, and fabric to create ship-shaped or circular space installation with the ambiance of a mysterious primal power that resembles a ruin of an ancient civilization.
Ayaka Nakamura specializes in natural fibers, and as Nobuyuki Sugihara’s creative and life partner, the two have always accompanied each other on their creative projects in residencies around the world. When traveling, Nakamura always has her sewing machine with her and create all sorts of hats. When she sewed hats, she imagines the shapes of soft body curves. She also upcycles kimonos and creates new outfits.
- Title: Waves of Ark – Intertwining Tides
- Materials: coral stone, rock
- Dimensions: 6m (L) x 1.5m (W) x 2.5m (H)
- Creative Concept:
Both Japanese artists are drawn to Taiwan’s indigenous people, a culture nourished by the mountains and the sea. Using traditional Taiwanese clay house bonding materials and techniques, the artists pieced together coral rocks from the east coast and huge boulders from Dulan Mountain into the shape of a boat and the endless waves crashing into Kararuan, which means a place for hair-washing in Amis. Their work, inspired by the Tao style canoe from the island of Lanyu, is surrounded by strange-looking rocks in Xiaoyeliu shaping like ocean waves to symbolize the rich marine culture of the East Coast Amis people. Inseparably and tightly woven with local life, myths, crafts, music, fishing, hunting, and gathering, this boat symbolizes Taiwan that sings between the ocean and the islands.