AKI INOMATA


How to Carve a Sculpture
2018 object HD video photo Production Assistance: Izu Shaboten Zoo, Nasu Animal Kingdom, Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium, Hamura Zoo, Iida City Zoo

a wood sculpture bitten by the Beaver (Genie, b.2015)
Photo: Naomi Ito, Production Assistance: Izu Shaboten Zoo

Beavers chew on trees, sharpening their constantly-growing teeth. After it is felled, a tree becomes building material for the beaver’s dams or for a lodge to live in. The marks left on the tree stump are a side-product of this activity, but they remind me of sculptures carved by human artists. Beavers, like humans, are one of the few animals that actively modify their environment, reforming it to suit their own requirements. They create artificial ponds by cutting down the surrounding trees and assembling them into dams to catch and hold stream water. These beaver ponds provide a distinctive environment that attracts moose, herons, and many other creatures. It’s interesting to think about how an environment constructed by beavers differs from an environment constructed by humans. I provided a beaver with part of a tree to work on, and used the gnawed wood that it produced as a motif for my own sculptures. For the actual production, I commissioned a stone-cutter in Thailand to carve human-scale models of the beaver’s work in wood grain stone, and installed them around a pond. The result is a sculptural work created by two artists, with the human imitating the beaver’s creation.

ビーバーは、樹木を食べ、樹木でダムや巣を作り、伸びた歯を削る。樹木に残された、その痕跡は、あくまで「副産物」であるが、私は、そこに人間のつくる彫刻作品を重ねて見てしまう。 環境に手を加え、自らに適した環境に改変するビーバーは、人間以外では稀有な動物でもある。ビーバーが周囲の樹を切り倒し、組み合わせ、川の流れをせき止めることで作られる人工池ならぬ「ビーバー池」は、ヘラジカやサギなど、多くの生き物を呼び込み独自の環境を作り出す。そのビーバーが作り出す環境と、人間が作り出す環境の違いは何だろうか。 本作品は、ビーバーに木を与え、齧ったカタチを元にしている。タイの工房に依頼して、木目石で人間のスケールに模刻し、池の周囲に配置した。ビーバーがつくったものを人間が真似て作る。二重の作者が創造した彫塑である。


a beaver (Taiyo, b.2014), Production Assistance: Nasu Animal Kingdom