Right now the fourth Shinjuku Creator’s Festival is taking place mainly around Shinjuku station, but with far flung satellite exhibitions taking place around Shinjuku ward, like Hatsudai, Ichigaya and even Kagurazaka. I went to see the work of famous artist Yoichiro Kawaguchi, which you might remember from this blog last year.
This year Mr. Kawaguchi exhibits two statues called Ficco at the Zenkokuji temple in Kagurazaka, famous for its statue of the Bishamonten which is only uncovered for the public on special days. The temple was originally erected in Bakurocho in 1595 but moved to Kagurazaka in 1793. In 1945 the original temple was destroyed in air raids, the only thing that survived was the unusual guardians from 1848, which here are actually tigers whereas they are usually lions or foxes: these are the only guardian tigers in Shinjuku ward. You can see the patchwork of repairs on one of the tigers in the third image.
So in a sense, placing these to Ficco on either side off the temple guardians makes perfect sense. The Shinjuku Creator’s Festa goes on for one more week, ending on the 7th of August.
One of Japan’s more famous artists, but still relatively unknown outside the country is Tokyo University professor Yoichiro Kawaguchi (河口洋一郎) whose pioneering work in computer graphics and almost organic CGI creations have been inspiring art students in Japan since the 1970’s. This man was doodling on his computer before I was even born! I saw this work, the Gross Tendril, at Tokyo Design Week last year. It is a good example of his funky pop-art influence sculpture that is clearly grounded in mathematics and algorithm. Maybe you remember the gun toting samurai warriors that I posted a few days ago? Mr. Kawaguchi is from the same little island as those guns – Tanegashima.