Yumiko Furukawa

Chobozekka: The sole place where you can see matchless views.

Yumiko Furukawa

Artist  Statement:

In July 2012, I visited the special exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Arts, where I was able to view Paul Gauguin’s masterpiece, “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” From the classical mythology, Arcadia; in the coarse canvas sack that struggles to look for a utopia, I saw the realities of what life was like for Gauguin in Tahiti. It was time to breathe together with the people of the island, and face life and death.  From his brush strokes, I felt the steady rhythm of his heartbeats, trying to live. On the surface of the canvas, there was a locus, generated from one’s own search for the truth in art, not shaken by debates concerning art history or painting techniques. After this intense impression of the experience, my stay in Shodoshima to participate in a residence program was decided.

This artwork, “Chobozekka: The sole place where you can see matchless views”, is an installation that consists of the configuration of Mr. Kazuyoshi Yoshinaga’s editorial, “Shodoshima’s Legend and Folklore”, and my own ‘Residence Journal’, creating an acrylic painting and sculptures that uses togei technique- Japanese ceramic art.

Around 13 meters wide and 1.6 meters tall, the large paintings came to naturally be an Asian landscape painting when drawn obediently, feeling the sunlight and the sound of the oceans’ waves from the Mito Peninsula of Shodoshima. On the canvas, in blue letters, are quotes from the lengends and folklores of Shodoshima; while in silver letters are from my own journal.

The 45 sculptures are animals, monsters, scenes, and landscapes, derived from the quotations from the stories. Baked in Mr. Tamotsu Muroi’s kiln from the foot of the Kankakei ravine, they have become lovely figures that came to look like Jizos, stone statues in the form of Buddhist monks, often found by the roadside. I was helped by many of the townspeople in Shidoshima for the creations. Only by coincidence, a lot of these people had some sort of relation to the folktales: a descendant from a wealthy figure from a legend, or a former sumo-wrestler helping with a monster that pleads to sumo wrestle. For clay, I used Shigaraki clay and Seto clay, while I employed colorful and contemporary colors for the glaze.

The place of the exhibition, the concrete warehouse in Yoshino District was once a clay storage from a Kawara -roofing tile- factory. There are still remains of spattering clay left on the walls. It might be another coincidental fate that I employed recycled used clay for the making of the sculptures. I was able to experience the difficulties that tile maker Mr. Shinichi Yamamoto must have faced in manufacturing the roofing. Also, Mr. Yoshinaka, who collected the legends from the former Ikeda town, was born in the Yoshino district. During my 7 months residence, I was able to face the late people living in this beautiful place through creating artwork. At the same time, we were able to share the different sufferings that the people of the island had, and my creations are from their bright and lively figures.

When I step outside and head to the ocean, I can see the Yoshinozaki beach right in front of me. As I stand at the point of breakwater, I cannot help but sigh at the crystal-clear blue from the sea and the sky; and as they surround me, I feel as if I am melting into that landscape. By living with the people from the island in this sort of beautiful scenery, I discovered how tremendously fascinating humans can be, and this shining seawater and dazzling matchless view tells us that we can be those sort of human beings, as well.

I wish to leave impressions in from the folktales and to leap from the burning experiences at the island, and create new stories about hope in my work, “Chobozekka: The sole place where you can see matchless views.”

Yumiko Furukawa


more details


Year:2013 Materials: acrylic painting on canvas, ceramic, two books
Size: 1620 × 133 cm (painting), Size varies for each sculpture (sculptures), 21× 29.7 ×1cm (Mr.Yoshinaka’s book), 36.4×25.7×1cm(artist’s books)
Cooperation:  Shodoshima towns people, Tamotsu Muroi, Homura
Support: HOLBEIN WORKS, LTD.  Book design: Rie Igarashi
“Chobozekka”  Official Website ;


眺望絶佳 - 絶景を眺めることのできるこの場所    古川弓子


2012年7月、フィラデルフィア美術館での企画展にて、ポール・ゴーギャンの名作『われわれはどこから来たのか われわれは何者か われわれはどこへ行くのか(英題 Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?)』をみた。 神話、アルカディア(Arcadia)、桃源郷を探し求めようと漂流する麻袋のような粗目のキャンバス地には、タヒチに滞在していたゴーギャンの現実がみえた。それは島の人と呼吸をともにし、生と死に向き合う時間。筆跡から彼の生きようとする鼓動のリズムを感じた。美術史や絵画技法などの議論を超越した揺らぐことのない一人の人間の芸術への求道心によって生み出された軌跡が画面の上にあった。この強烈な鑑賞体験の後、わたしの小豆島での滞在制作が決まった。

この作品『眺望絶佳』は、吉仲一徳氏 編集『池田町の伝説と民話』とわたし自身の滞在記の二冊の書物を題材にした、アクリル絵具による絵画と陶芸技法による彫刻を構成したインスタレーションである。

およそ幅13メートル 高さ1.6メートルの大きな絵画は、小豆島三都半島の日差しと波の音を感じながら素直に描くと、自然と山水画のようになった。画面上に、伝説と民話からの引用文はブルーの文字で、滞在記からはシルバーの文字で描いた。






制作年:2013年 素材:キャンバスにアクリル、セラミック、書籍2冊
サイズ: 1330 × 162 cm(絵画)、インスタレーションにつきサイズ可変(彫刻)、 『池田町の伝説と民話』21× 29.7 ×1cm、 滞在記『眺望絶佳』 36.4×25.7×1cm
協力:小豆島町のみなさん、 室井保、炎群 『眺望絶佳』ホームページ:
協賛:ホルベイン工業株式会社 製本デザイン:五十嵐里恵