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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cosmic Configuration sculpture by Kenji Mikawa

宇宙の構成 三澤憲司

Uchu no Kosei (Cosmic Configuration) by Kenji Mikawa.

Not far from Ebisu Station in Tokyo is the headquarters of Sapporo Beer. The headquarters shares its site with the adjoining Ebisu Garden Place, and the Museum of Yebisu Beer.

Yebisu Garden Place comprises several large buildings, and its most memorable feature is a breathtakingly massive arched covering over a plaza that serves as the entrance to the main building. Ebisu Garden Place has a lot of shopping, many restaurants, including one of Tokyo's best, the Michelin 3-star Joel Robuchon Restaurant, one of several Joel Robuchon establishments in Tokyo.

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography also has its home - a very striking modernist-Classicist building - in Yebisu Garden Place, as does the Ebisu branch of the Mitsukoshi Department Store.

Uchu no Kosei (Cosmic Configuration) sculpture by Mikawa Kenji.

The JapanVisitor blog has focused now and then on Japanese statuary over the past year, and on a recent visit to Yebisu Garden Place, specifically the Museum of Yebisu Beer, I snapped this sculptural stone trilogy that adorns the front of the Sapporo Beer headquarters.

Named, perhaps a little overambitiously, Uchu no Kosei, (Cosmic Configuration) it is a work in faux-antique stone topped with very cleanly designed, unmistakably modern, metal shapes. The sculptor is Kenji Mikawa, a sculptor/painter born in 1945 in Nagano prefecture, and who is responsible for a number of modernist-primitivist, plinth-inspired works in stone and metal around Japan, one of the most beautiful of which, in my opinion, is a drapery-style monument that graces the lake of Tokyo's Shakujii Park.

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