©2020 Maiko Sugano

I make my art to express gratitude and respect for nature. I combine wood, steel, and stone for my outdoor sculpture. And I use the techniques of traditional Japanese wood working for the structure and the shape. At times I create a sculpture the size of a small house, allowing a small number of people to enter. You are surrounded by the beautiful sounds and smells of nature and can have tea. I call it a sculpture for tea

As I make my art pieces I feel the flow of time. I can imagine clearly people moving around the sculptural artifact which has a human scale. The shape and feeling relates to the Asuka masonry of Nara prefecture. I am impressed by the mystery of Asuka masonry. No one knows how and when the ancient people use their artifacts. However, I can feel contact through my hand and senses. I am always inspired by the length of time into the past and the images. I imagine ancient people with peaceful moment having the view and sound of water there on the site with.

I have studied the connections between western contemporary art and Japanese art. Both provide pleasure for our eyes but there are differences in context. That is because of the differences of philosophy and the attitude toward nature that was cultivated long ago.

I am studying how contemporary art can be used by people in the present day in their style of life. Especially, how to present the art in the conventional Japanese house. I focus on the garden to appreciate the traditional Japanese way to present art. On the other hand, a gallery space with white walls, imported from western countries, is a very useful way to present art. My aim is to mix contemporary art with Japanese traditional aesthetics to lead people to engage with nature in a new way.