Kobe’s brainchildren look lyrical, generally also unforced carefree, but they are still in a tight straitjacket. They radiate a contagious, cheerful simplicity, but at the same time are extremely ingenious. They have sprung from the brain of a perfectionist and aesthete, who towards the realisation in three dimensions, implacably rejects everything that is anecdotal. They are sculptures with voluptuous, supple lines, but built around a sterile geometric carcass. They seduce by their round, feminine forms and cheerful poses, but by their superhuman perfection and mysterious calm they also shut out. Faces are closed, stripped of personal features. Thematically, the female figure and the horse dominate the oeuvre. Classic themes with a long art-historical tradition. But Kobe doesn’t just carve ‘a’ woman or ‘a’ horse, he sculpts archetypes. His women and horses contain the essence of their being in their simplicity. The simplicity that Kobe’s sculptures radiate, conceals their ingenious nature. Between idea and finished image lies a world of abstraction and reasoning. Thinking about possibilities and solving problems of form.
Transience is the central concept in the art of Ryusaku Matsuda, the grand master of contemporary Japanese floral art. His large-scale installations are a cross between traditional Ikebana and Land Art. Although his own emotional world often serves as the inspiration for the creation of a particular work, Matsuda does not consider himself an artist.