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The silence created by Antony Gormley's works. Contemporary Sculpture in the City of Osaka

Updated: Jan 10


Antony Gormley《ANOTHER TIME Ⅳ》(2007)

Antony Gormley (1950-) is a leading contemporary British sculptor. He was exposed to Eastern thought at a young age in India and Sri Lanka, and has produced many philosophical works that are strongly influenced by this.


Did you know that the internationally acclaimed works of Antony Gormley are not only displayed in museums, but are also exhibited outdoors as public art all over the world? In fact, you can view Gormley's public art in the streets of Osaka.





About Antony Gormley

In 1950, Antony Gormley was born in London to a wealthy family, and from 1968 to 1971 he studied extensively at Trinity College, Cambridge University, including art history, anthropology and archaeology.


Then he spent three years travelling around India and Sri Lanka, studying Buddhism. This journey to South West Asia was a kind of turning point for the young Antony Gormley, who was in his early twenties. The strong influence of Eastern thought in his work can be seen as being based on his experiences at the time. After returning from his trip, he further pursued his studies at Goldsmiths College and other institutions at the University of London.


Antony Gormley believes that "the body is not an object, but a place where we live" and questions human existence through his experimental use of his own body. His sculptures are characteristically more static than the dynamic works found in Western sculpture.



Antony Gormley《THREE PLACES》(1983)

source:WIKIART



Antony Gormley《FIELD II》(1989)

source:WIKIART



As well as solo exhibitions, Antony Gormley has been the subject of numerous high-profile group exhibitions around the world and international art exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta. He has also received numerous awards, including the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, the Barnhardt Heyliger Prize for Sculpture in 2007, and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997.


In Japan, the outdoor exhibition 《TWO TIMES - The Two Times》 at the Hayama Pavilion of the Museum of Modern Art, Kanagawa, attracted a lot of attention in 2012-2013. 2013 saw the Prince Takamatsu Memorial World Culture Prize in the category of sculpture.

There are actually several such public artworks by Gormley in Osaka. It is amazing that the works of an internationally acclaimed contemporary sculptor can be viewed so casually in the streets of Osaka.





Antony Gormley's sculptures tour in Osaka.

Three public artworks by Antony Gormley that can be seen in Osaka. All of the works are located in unexpected places that you might easily pass by, such as in buildings and public facilities in the city center.


《MIND-BODY COLUMN》(UMEDA)

Antony Gormley《MIND-BODY COLUMN》(2000)

The Gormley work 《MIND-BODY COLUMN》, a 15.24 m high steel monument, was installed in 2001 in a corner of a row of high-rise buildings in Osaka's Umeda area. You may have seen it before, as it is located in a corner of the city not far from Osaka, Umeda and Fukushima stations, where the Hotel Monterey Osaka and Osaka Central Hospital stand.



Antony Gormley《MIND-BODY COLUMN》(2000)

This sculpture, which consists of ten 193 cm tall sculptures of his own body, stacked one on top of the other and then back-to-back, is Gormley's first large tower-like sculpture. By using iron, the main component of the earth's core, as the material, it directly conveys the 'continuity between the earth and man'.


Furthermore, the two back-to-back figures are stacked up and down, looking at 'the past and the future', representing 'the way people are born and develop from one another'. It is also interesting to note that the whole piece is assembled using the yaki-kame method, which uses the principles of contraction and expansion of materials to strongly fit together without any welding.



Antony Gormley《MIND-BODY COLUMN》(2000)




《ANOTHER TIME IV》(YODOYABASHI)

Antony Gormley《ANOTHER TIME IV》(2007)

《ANOTHER TIME IV》 in Yodoyabashi, Osaka, was created in 2007 and installed in 2022. It can be seen in front of the entrance to the French restaurant LE PONT DE CIEL in B1, Nippon Seimei Yodoyabashi Building.


This is another cast-iron sculpture made from a mould of Mr Gormley's own body. It is a quietly erect figure, similar in form to one of Mr Gormley's best-known works, the 《ANOTHER PLACE》 series*.


*A total of 100 human statues were installed along a 3km stretch of coastline near Liverpool, UK.


Antony Gormley《ANOTHER PLACE》(1997)

source:WIKIART


An interesting point about this sculpture is that it is installed directly on the ground without a pedestal, so it can be viewed with a sense of proximity, as if you were confronting a live person. A figure stands quietly in front of a building. The expression on his face, the rust on his chest, fingertips, back and surface. Imagine what kind of message you will receive.





Antony Gormley《ANOTHER TIME IV》(2007)




《HERE AND THERE》(Izumi-city)

Antony Gormley《HERE AND THERE》(2002)

《HERE AND THERE》 is installed in the grounds of Izumi City Plaza, a large public facility in the southern part of Osaka Prefecture, Izumi City. The 190-centimeter Corten cast-iron humanoid sculpture is mounted on a 10-meter Corten steel pole, which may be a little difficult to see from the ground. If you view it from a slightly higher vantage point, you will see the figure standing somewhat absent-mindedly 10 meters above the ground.


Gormley describes the film as "looking at the place where the body used to be, the space the body used to occupy, the space that could be anyone's body, the body that is both my body and yours" and "looking at the place where the world and infinite space come and go with each other".


In this area, known as 'Izumi/Kuboso Museum Town', you can enjoy a wide variety of artworks while walking around the city. There are also many public artworks by other artists in the vicinity of Here and There, please look out for them.





What do you see beyond that gaze?

Antony Gormley's works come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all radiate a mysterious stillness and contain philosophical ideas. What you read into them is up to you. Please take your time to face the works and feel the transformation of your body and soul. In his own words, "the body is not an object, but a place where we live" and "a space that could be anyone's body, mine or yours", one way to enjoy his work is to pretend to be inside the sculptures and see the same scenery from the same perspective.


《EVENT HORIZON》Antony Gormley(2007)

source:WIKIART





Basic information


《MIND-BODY COLUMN》

Address

3-3 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture / Central Square on the west side of JR Osaka Station

Nearest station

about 5 minutes' walk from JR Osaka Station, Osaka Metro Nishi-Umeda Station and JR/Hanshin Line Fukushima Station.


《ANOTHER TIME IV》

Address

3-5-29 Kitahama, Chuo-ku, Osaka / Nippon Seimei Yodoyabashi Building B1

Nearest station

Osaka Metro Yodoyabashi station, about 1 minute walk from Yodoyabashi bus stop.


《HERE AND THERE》

Address

5-4-7 Ibukino, Izumi-shi, Osaka, Japan

Nearest station

3-minute walk from Izumi-chuo Station on Senboku Kosoku Railway.

Tel

0725-57-6660

Website

https://www.izumicityplaza.or.jp/

Opening hours

【Yayoi no Kaze Hall/Lifelong Learning Centre】9:00-22:00

【Library】 Monday to Thursday 9:30-21:00 / Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 9:00-20:00

【More Izumi】Counter service 9:00-17:15 / Training rooms 9:00-22:00

【Health and Welfare Centre】Counter service 9:00-17:15 / Facilities for rent 9:00-22:00

Closed

Varies according to facility (common holidays during the year-end and New Year holidays).


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