Kidera Yuko (b. 1970)
Can metal express emotion and personality? Kidera Yuko certainly believes so, manifesting this belief in her beautiful sculptural works. In carefully hammering flat sheets of metal, Kidera imbues her material with a creative spirit that is viscerally immediate. There are tiny indentations and surface textures in her work that on close inspection inspire awe at the technical mastery and commitment involved. But beyond this, the works speak directly to the hearts of their audience.
Kidera has chosen the human activities of song and dance as themes for her work. These are activities that involve the human spirit, activities that suggest the word ‘soaring’; aesthetic, artistic activities that transport the soul to a different dimension. Kidera transforms metal as her works transform human experience. With the female form as a central motif, she uses the anonymity of faceless, body-less costume to express both the emotional characteristics of her materials and the personalities of her sculptures.
In ‘Singer’ 1 and 2, it is impossible not to be uplifted by the free swinging of the swirling skirt, nor moved by the mature majesty of the gold-lined gown. One imagines a young singer, an ebullient naivety and barely contained energy in contrast to the eloquent, somewhat restrained grace and elegance of the more contained figure. The shoes of ‘The Waltz ‘call forth Regency dandies and coming out parties, the famous Western-style parties of the heyday of the 19th century Rokumeikan in Tokyo.
Kidera Yuko is young by Japanese standards, an emerging artist. She has recently won the grand prize at the Japan Contemporary Art and Craft Exhibition in both 2007 and 2010. She is by our judgement one of the most potentially exciting artists in sculpture and metal working today.