Statue of Watanabe Sukesaku

Artist朝倉 文夫 ASAKURA Fumio
ExhibitionOther
PlaceCity Center
MaterialBronze
Year1936
Size350cm×120cm×100cm
Concept渡辺祐策は宇部興産の創業者である。この像が立っている記念公園には村野藤吾の昭和期の名建築の一つといわれる渡辺翁記念会館もあって宇部市が誇る文化財の一つだ。像の作者・朝倉文夫は当時帝展のスターであったし朝倉塾という彫刻塾を開いて一大勢力を築いていた。抜群の描写力、卓抜した表現力は同時に教育者としても優れていて、朝倉塾には明治末から大正・昭和にかけて多くの若者が入門し、その中には木内克や福沢一郎などもいた。朝倉は多くの動物像や有名人の肖像-銅像を手がけたが、この像がつくられた昭和10年代は「犬養毅像」(岡山・吉備津神社)「菊五郎・団十郎像」(東京・歌舞伎座)「嘉納翁像」(筑波大)などがある。

Takeo Yamauchi was a sculptor from Hokkaido. Together with Shin Hongo, Yoshitatsu Yanagihara, Churyo Sato, and Yasutake Funakoshi, he founded the sculpture division of Shinseisaku-ha (today’s Shinseisaku) Society in 1939. The work, meant to serve as a monument celebrating the postwar restoration, was commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce, which raised fund for the sculpture. While the memorial is a manifestation of blatant modernism, the shovel held by the man and woman and the young leaves stemming from the shovel capture the industrial nature of Ube City very well. When the statue was erected, however, Ube was a city notorious for soot dust pollution, which triggered grassroot movements like greenery campaigns and “Full of Flowers” campaigns, which eventually developed into the sculpture competition.
Document ID21435

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