An expression floating in air

A sculpture emerges from the soil




The Japanese word “ゆるい”, pronounced as “Yurui”, is originally an adjective which means slow and loose. In recent years, the word has gained an unlikely popularity to depict art pieces as unpretentious, or in other words, art that is not exaggeratedly sensational. According to sculptor Hideo Sawada, such art appears as if “something organically emerges from the soil”.

Sawada wants his works to resemble wildflowers that grow naturally in the wild. Before being attracted to the tenderness of Japanese culture, Sawada was once a westernized sculptor who received a German scholarship and embraced the precision of European sculptures. Getting touched by the minimalistic Japanese art and its mastery of blank space, he had then walked further away from western aesthetics which tends to replicate the minute details of the naturalistic environment. Following the core of his heart, Sawada focuses more on the manifestation of nature rather than a sheer representation.

Admiring the sculptures by Hideo Sawada, one cannot refrain from taking a few steps back to take in the surrounding space, as if the blank wall behind the work was an intentional backdrop to the entire viewing experience. “Redundancy is what disrupts the beauty of a work.’ The characters he sculpted do not carry distinctive facial features, their facial expressions are hardly noticeable because they have transformed into a certain vibe that lingers in the air. You can imagine how Hideo Sawada uses his carving skills in a slow and lax manner in creating such tender touch on his works. It is not only the wood that he carves but also the aura surrounding it.