Lyrical steel Artist Yuri Tsuzuki explores dichotomy with colorful and airy steel sculptures AMANDA CORDISCO | CONTRIBUTOR
“Two very different styles side by side. One is very colorful pieces. They are playful, and then you’ll see some pieces I’ve made out of found steel objects.” She wants her audience to ask, “How are these two pieces related?” Tsuzuki completed half of the steel pieces in her exhibition in Bogota, the other half in Greenville. She welds the steel and paints each piece herself. The pieces that aren’t painted were found and then strategically placed together. She said she makes steel light, airy and feminine through changing structures and adding bright, vibrant colors. “My pieces are not static; their goal is
Yuri Tsuzuki considers her art an exploration of the dichotomy of life. Old versus new, nature versus city. The Greenville sculptor spent her childhood traveling from Greenville, where her parents had moved in the 1960s to work in the textile industry, to their hometown of Tokyo. “Tokyo is a city of dichotomy; you have the old versus the new. Tradition versus the way technologically advanced,” Tsuzuki said. “You have the old temples, and then you have this contemporary architecture, and everything is a mix mash but it works. That dichotomy is something I would really like to investigate in my artwork.” In Japanese, Tsuzuki’s name means “to construct a city.” “The Japanese characters themselves are geometric, rigid and very precise. If you make one line the wrong way, the character is going to mean something else.” While the characters of her first name, Yuri, look free, effortless and feminine, Tsuzuki said that combination “of Artist Yuri Tsuzuki with a work in progress. my name is why I have those two styles in my Hampton III WHAT: Heart of Steel: An Exhibition by Yuri Tsuzuki Gallery exhibition” appearing WHERE: Hampton III Gallery, 3110 Wade Hampton Blvd., now through April 18. Taylors Tsuzuki spent most of 2014 WHEN: Now through April 18 in Bogota, Colombia, inves- April 11, noon – artists talk tigating and learning how to INFO: hamptoniiigallery.com use steel as her new art material. “I test the limits of the medium,” she said. to show movement,” she said. Her piecHaving majored in sculpture at es explore both nature and city in what Princeton University before moving on she calls “a playscape. Not a cityscape to painting, steel was a change, she said, or a landscape. Because that’s what we but she felt ready for the challenge. want as humans: a place to play.” “Steel pieces are usually recognized “No matter how large or how small, as large, towering, not fragile, and mas- I feel a great sense of intimacy with my sive. How can I make this material that is work,” Tsuzuki said. “My work in steel something so masculine into something is physical. It’s manual and requires a that is so free, airy and liberating and thoughtful strength. I begin. I stop. I’m doesn’t seem like steel? I want it to reflect constantly pushing, pulling, holding, light; to seem like it’s dancing in the wind. stepping back, tugging, testing, cutting. I want it to be what it’s not,” she said. I may leave the piece for a while, ignore This is what she said her exhibition it. Then, return to it with open arms. at the Hampton III Gallery explores: It’s like a courtship,” she said.
30 THE JOURNAL | APRIL 10, 2015