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Akio Takamori
May 5-June 2, 2001
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The Frank Lloyd Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of figurative sculpture by Akio Takamori. The works depict American soldiers and Japanese people together, and are installed on a large oval platform, which represents a boat. The artist recalls the interaction of the two cultures, and the boat signifies the setting for the experiences and exchanges.

Takamori, currently resides in Seattle, was born in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan in 1950. The artist's work, often autobiographical, has focused in the past four years on figurative sculpture. The forms of villagers, school children, shopkeepers and infants have been modeled from memory. Recounting the experience of growing up in Japan, Takamori has previously assembled groups of freestanding figures.

In the current show, the sculpture presents the interface of the cultures, emphasizing the exchanges between U.S. soldiers and the Japanese people. In one pairing, we see a traditionally dressed Japanese woman embracing an American soldier. In another, we see a student giving directions to a military man. The use of the boat is especially apt in this context, for as the artist states, "...there were always boats when something happened between Japan and the U.S. For example, the black ships came to Tokyo Bay to force open Japan to the western world. Then others are the battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbor, and the Missouri off Tokyo Bay to sign off the defeat. Then after the war, the Japanese fisherman's boat was exposed to atomic testing in the South Pacific. Most recently, there was an accident involving a U.S. submarine and a Japanese fishing boat near Hawaii."