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Japanese Artists Bring ''Force of Nature'' to Winthrop

Quick Facts

 Japanese artists Yumiko Yamazaki and Rikuo Ueda will serve as artists-in-residence at Winthrop beginning Sept. 2.
 Their exhibitions, open Oct. 13-Nov. 16, will be part of "Force of Nature."

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University Galleries will partner with other regional galleries this fall to bring 10 Japanese artists to the Carolinas to share their work on nature.

"Force of Nature" features 10 Japanese artists-in-residence who will utilize locally available natural materials like wood, soil and plant life to explore the relationship between humans and nature in temporary campus grounds installations. Each artist will be in residence with one of the participating institutions for about six weeks, beginning Aug. 30.

The two artists who will be visiting Winthrop, Yumiko Yamazaki and Rikuo Ueda, will arrive on campus Sept. 2 to begin their projects. The exhibit lasts from Oct. 13-Nov. 16.

Tom Stanley, director of the Winthrop University Galleries, said the project "is looking at forces of nature as the highest art form, drawing attention to the fact that nature has a hand in everything."

Yamazaki’s project will capture the experience of the elements of nature and document the passage of time. "The nature that I think about is composed of wind (air), rain (water), the sun (light), ground (earth) and time," Yamazaki said. "I want to embody the intention of the nature and present it in the form of an artwork so that people can see and feel its importance."

Yamazaki plans to bury six metal plates, allowing them to be affected by the elements. At the end of one month, Yamazaki will remove the metal plates from the ground and make prints of their surfaces. She will give a presentation on her project Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. in Rutledge Auditorium.         

For his project, Rikuo Ueda will design and build a wind house on the campus grounds. The wind house, an elaborately engineered mechanical device, harnesses the wind and creates what he calls "wind drawings." The wind drawings recognize the constancy and timelessness of wind. Ueda will give a presentation on his project Sept.14 at 8 p.m. in Rutledge Auditorium.

"There is somewhat of an eastern aesthetic involved in this work. They are looking back at Japanese traditions and interpreting them in a contemporary manner," Stanley said. "In each case, they are letting nature be the artist."

The Winthrop University Galleries will hold a reception for the opening of the "Force of Nature" exhibition in the Rutledge and Patrick galleries on Oct. 13 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The reception will include a performance of “…drift…” for solo piano composed by Ronald Keith Parks for pianist Tomoko Deguchi.       

"Force of Nature" is a partnership between the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, the College of Architecture at UNC-Charlotte, Clemson Architecture Center, the McColl Center for Visual Art and the Sumter Gallery of Art. 

For more information about the project and artists, visit

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