Sculpture

Sculpture pieces with mass voluminosity appear among Okazaki's three-dimensional pieces entering the 1990s. If spaces formed by geometrical planes had been the primary factor in the spatial formation of the relief constructions, it could be said that in the development after the nineties where materials such as wood, plaster, ceramic, mould, and bronze are used, the two dimensional space has been regarded as continuous quantity filled up by three dimensional volume.

Nevertheless, this development shows a complete reversal in terms of the structure of a piece. For example, in a sculpture piece dating after 1990, planes of semi-organic forms that had been a characteristic of former reliefs can still be seen. But these planes set parallel to the wall as to block the gaze of the viewer had been literally representing the wall, serving as the base to organize vision. It was this appearance, at times referred in connection to the shaped canvas, which was the definite image that unified the piece. In the sculptures of the nineties on the other hand, this plane-appearance seems to have emerged as the result of a sudden amputation of physically continuous volume. Generally speaking, in the conventional norms of sculpture, the appearance unifying a piece has been treated as a silhouette formed by continuous quantities being amputated. This means that even in a sculpture that seems as though its entire quantity was given in advance as mass, the unity of this mass was in fact thought only by the quarried out cross section. Okazaki takes these conventions of sculpture and reverses them. What is brought into question is the irregular continuous quantity called volume that can be merely invisible throughout, for its form is grasped only through its amputation. It differs from a rigid mass, a piece of stone for example, but solid rocks were originally fluid and irregular as Goethe noted, and moreover, the appearance of the human body is a balance working between multiple volumes of internal organs, skeleton, skin and the like, a single continuous body maintained through various changes. In this way, form can be regarded as the interference plane of such forces, and this does not exclude sculpture.

The operation of Okazaki, resembling the cutting of soft rice cake, is in fact extremely abstract. It is the method of interfering towards the continuous quantity along with the shape of the amputation which is determined beforehand, and volumes fill up in succession between these multiple gained unsubstantial planes of interference. The reassembling of sections obtained by dividing a single mass can merely attain the original entirety, whereas clusters created in this way are possible to form a different entirety each time. It is more an interference plane, an interface where various fragments are conjugated, than a cross section. Like Okazaki himself points out, this is comparable to the plate tectonics theory of the earth's continents breaking up to form a new continent. The multiple planes of the earth formed by various moving plates can also be compared to the application of a plate in a print, a method linked with Okazaki's paintings. As typical with Ukiyo-e, multiple plates divided in order to create one print can form various planes by diverting them to other planes. Volume is only perceived as a mobile and invisible field that enables the mutual separation and movement, the over determination of these multiple fragments.

Michelangelo also conceived of this volume that escapes mass as a water tank or water that flows over from a prison, muscles that drift away from the control of reason to be set each in an inconsistent motion, or fat that sags down slovenly by gravity. The spirit that the flesh as a prison evokes is rendered to the declining and collapsing images of the body exposed to physical forces. Nevertheless, this fall that dissolves all things into a single continuity is at the same time extremely sensual; sensuality that always resides next to entropy, to death. The imagination that puts even the invisible into a continuity, matches physical necessity in the sensual experience of volume. Okazaki's sculptures intend to grasp this sensuality in an abstract mechanism.

Text : Yoshiharu Ishioka