Onishi Yasuaki recently unveiled his latest project “Stone and Fence” at KYOTO STEAM 2022 exhibition in Higashiyama Cube, Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, Japan. The installation was made using materials and expertise provided by Fukuda Metal Foil & Powder Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of metal foils and powders with a history going back more than 300 years.
In his work thus far, Onishi has used a variety of materials to reconfigure voids, margins, and other spaces and boundaries of which we are not usually conscious. By rendering visible boundaries between inside and outside, front and back, or in indeterminate zones in between, he creates uniquely tranquil works that investigate relationships between humans and the natural world.
In this project, he endeavors to trace an overall image of a riverbed by appropriating the forms of stones that symbolize the accumulation of time. Volcanic rocks, which originate as magma inside the earth, solidify and change shape as they are gradually eroded by the flow of water and sediment in a river, are analogous to the outcomes of trial and error by a company that has engaged with society over the course of its history, and with the process of producing metal foil powder.
The stones of a riverbed, which under natural conditions spread horizontally following the topography of the earth’s surface, are composed vertically by artificial boundaries such as fences or lines of columnar structures. Stones washed into a riverbed are cast with copper foil to show their outer and inner morphology, in a process that reconfigures and restores them to the vast forms from whence they originated, revealing the volumes and amounts of time of their past and future erosion. The simple approach of covering a stone with copper foil and removing the stone to leave its shape implies that stones are only partially reproducible, and there are some things beyond our understanding. Viewers can see the castings from either side, changing positions and encountering boundaries between inside and outside, back and front that are indeterminate by their very nature.
The copper foil is only 18 microns thick, and is usually rust-proofed before delivery, but here is has been specially provided for this work without any treatment so that rust will accumulate. A wide range of metal foil and metal powder prototypes were tested and selected for this project.
Fukuda Metal Foil & Powder Co., Ltd. was founded in 1700 in Muromachi, Kyoto. With roots as a seller of gold and silver foil and powders, the company has developed products and technologies with the changing times, and today continues to produce a wide variety of metal foils and powders to meet diverse user needs.
Check out below for more photos of “Stone and Fence”.
Photo credits: Hyogo Mugyuda