Masayuki Nagare believed that stones embody spirits. After selecting a stone, he allowed it to dictate the sculpture’s form, rather than imposing a form on an unyielding material. Given his religious background and spiritual beliefs, it is not surprising that Nagare’s first sculptures were inspired and based upon the Jizos, which are the Buddhist guardian deities of children. Later, his works reflected on the timelessness of life; he often created sculptures that, although abstract, are reminiscent of traditional Japanese forms. Nagare often created sculptures from granite, leaving part of the stone rough and untouched, while polishing other parts to a high finish. This method creates a peaceful equilibrium that nonetheless exudes energy.
Remembered Promise is a great example of the use of warehada. It is composed of harmonious textural contrasts. The piece swiftly translates smooth into rugged and back, while playing with concave and convex spaces. The form’s oppositions provoke a desire to touch, bestowing the sculpture with a suggestive sensuality. Remembered Promise is evocative, as the name suggests, of an ancient stone imbued with spirituality and history, watching out over its surrounding environment. Nagare meant his sculptures to be placed in natural sites, as it is in these settings that the works most clearly embody their spirit.
Studio of the Artist
Anderson Gallery, Buffalo
Anderson Grandchildren’s Trust