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How to Carve a Sculpture

Artist: Aki Inomata
installation, sculpture | Sandstones | 2018

Beavers chew on trees, sharpening their constantly-growing teeth. After it is felled, a tree becomes building material for the beaver’s dams. The marks left on the tree stump are a side-product of this activity, but they remind the artist 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 is fascinating to think about how an environment constructed by beavers differs from an environment constructed by humans. For Thailand Biennale 2018, Inomata provides a beaver with part of a tree to work on and uses the gnawed wood that is produced as a reference to create sculptures. Inomata commissioned a sculptor in Thailand to carve human-scale models of the beaver’s work in sandstone, and installed them around a pond. The result is a sculptural work created by two artists, with humans imitating the beavers’ creation.

Exhibitions

The 1st Thailand Biennale2018 - Edge of the Wonderland | 2018.11.02 - 2019.02.28 | Krabi(Thailand)

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