photo: SAIKI Taku

Mending, Restoration, ”Restoration of a notebook salvaged from Sato Clothing in Kuwagasaki, Miyako after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami” 2012

ArtistAONO Fumiaki
Material/ Techniquesalvaged objects, plywood, acrylic, etc.
Size/ DurationH20×W29×D1cm
Copyright Notice© AONO Fumiaki
Year of acquisition/ donation2014
DescriptionBorn in Miyagi, Japan in 1968. Lives and works there.

Aono Fumiaki obtained a graduate degree in art education from the Graduate School for Teacher Training of Miyagi University of Education. While still a student, he developed a unique concept of restoration that he began applying to his work. In creating sculptures, he restored damaged or missing parts of discarded objects that he had picked up. In carrying out this process, however, he did not attempt to restore these objects to what might be imagined as their original condition. His ‘restoration’ work was done by filling in missing or damaged parts with other found objects that were unrelated to the main object. His approach of creating new and different forms by fusing different objects together or causing one object to invade another was extended to existing wall and road surfaces in urban areas. All of his works entailed questions or comments on the essential nature of art.

"Mending, Substitution, Consolidation, Serial Arrangement, “Room salvaged in Arahama, Wataricho after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami - Restoration of the wall surface,” 2013" is based on the theme of restoration that Aono has continued to pursue. It is included in the “Earthquake” series, in which the artist sought meaning in the history of objects. Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, an unprecedented disaster that mainly affected the Tohoku region, Aono walked along Arahama Beach in Watari-cho and gathered items from the junk and debris that had been discarded there or washed up on shore. Restoring life to normal is a major goal of recovery in Tohoku. Giving visual form to the memory and time residing in things and places through the mechanism of sculpture during this process of recovery is clearly different from Aono’s previous work, which is more concerned with finding meaning in the history of the found objects. The main body of this sculpture is a two-part storage unit, a chest of drawers set on a lower section fitted with shelves and sliding doors. It is placed next to a wardrobe. Part of a pink tile wall decorated with a painted picture, which might have come from a public bath, is attached to the top of these two structures. The artist has used paint to extend the color of the wall to the pieces of furniture below so that it seems to be fused with them. Pieces of clothing, cups, and a faucet are also added to the structure and a slipper is placed under it, suggesting that a foot is being crushed by it. The title of the work indicates the sequence of acts involved in the creative process and indicates that a room was collected and a wall was restored. It indicates that the artist’s aim goes beyond restoring pieces of furniture.