Mitsumoto Takeshi (b. 1962)
Mitsumoto Takeshi turns the innate difficulties and weaknesses of metalworking techniques to his advantage, transforming them from potential defects into integral parts of the beauty of his work. Undulations and unevenness caused by the heat of soldering are incorporated into his work as symbolic of the flow of water and wind, the play of light and shadow. His work confronts perceptions of metal as rigid and heavy and draws out its inherent suppleness and delicacy. Rust is the natural decay of metal, the degradation process part of the transience of life that is embraced by Zen philosophy: “In the inexplicable ambiguities of my work, I hope to connect with the human spirit.”
In the chrysanthemum series, an example of which is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, the distortions caused by the soldering process have been overcome by cutting slits between the petals of the flower shape – a technical inevitability and potential defect transformed into the unique beauty of the work.
Mitsumoto works with metal in architectural applications in his Tokyo studio Atelier Ren, where he also indulges his interest in exploring the characteristics of metal in art forms. A member and former Director of the Japan Craft Design Association, Mitsumoto’s work is regularly selected for public competition exhibitions, and he has won several major prizes, including the Talentborse Handwerk Prize in Munich in 1991. Currently combining university teaching with his art work and architectural commissions, his work has been exhibited in London, New York, Belgium and Australia.