The Third Element. A vision of the Kumite Ni Tsugite works by Fumiko Gotô.

Published: 08.09.2020
Ulrich Horndash
Edited by:
Edited at:
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Fumiko Gotô. Brooch: Kumite ni Mayu, 2020. Mammoth ivory, buffalo horn, silver 0.925. 6 x 2.4 x 1.5 cm. 
. Unique piece. Fumiko Gotô
Brooch: Kumite ni Mayu, 2020
Mammoth ivory, buffalo horn, silver 0.925
6 x 2.4 x 1.5 cm

Unique piece
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Ulrich Horndash, german artist, talks about the work and concept in the exhibition Kumite Ni Tsugite by Fumiko Gotô, the first solo show at Hannah Gallery Barcelona.

On the artist Fumiko Gotô
The reflection reaches its limit where the form completes itself below the surface.
The jewellery arouses desire, attaining the highest impact and the perfection, when its beauty is united with the human body.
With lively interest we encounter an artist who emerges from the design with extraordinary objects. Fumiko Gotô creates her jewellery with a passionate devotion for beautiful handcraft, of which the origin is unknowably old. The source of her creativity is undoubtedly an open and adaptive mind with her affiliation to technology.
The artist refers to art history as well to archeology. In her jewellery she combines constructive interest with the joy of experiment.
Architecture as a guiding inspiration sets the further course of the action.
With the discipline of her practice as an intelligent architect, her works are characterized by formal rigor. While Fumiko lived in the United States, where she studied art and architecture and worked for numerous years as an architect, professional and private circumstances led her to an intensive encounter with Conceptual and Minimal Art. Perhaps this experience determined the course of her artistic life.
There is no doubt that this period left a deep impression on her self-awareness.
The clarity and the vocabulary of her medium signifies its conceptual form of expression.
The perception of beauty requires a critical spirit, conceptual means also understanding art as an ideal construction.
Fumiko’s biography is characterized by a strong contrast. Not only the aesthetic experiences of the West are processed in her work, she also relates and reflects her origin, and she further proceeds with her enthusiasm for the Japanese world.
We expand our horizon to observe of what I would like to call the cultural recollection.
Despite the stereotypes interchanged between East and West, Japan remains a mysterious country that shields its enigma behind a gentle smile.
Little is known about what impels the country, but it seems their aesthetic consciousness to be the driving force. Are we confronted with an examination as the venerable Hisamatsu Shinʼichi seeks to fathom in his "Oriental Nothingness "?
The Ise Shrine, an important Shinto sanctuary in the east of Kii Peninsula is referred to her work. The center of this pilgrimage place is called Naikû, the inner shrine from the third century, surrounded by simple wooden fences.
According to the Shintô tradition, Naikû is demolished and rebuilt in their original form every 20 years with new cypress wood.
Fumiko’s new project “Maquette” is also in progress. This work transfers certain forms of ornament from classical architecture to the human body. It is a collection of brooches that can be described as silhouette-profile. She is fascinated with the spatial composition of the painter Shibata Zeshin, who is best known for his lacquer work.  
She is also influenced by Ikebana–the art of flower arrangement.
Ma, a term used in Japanese aesthetic perception, plays a mysterious role in the relationship between forms and their absence. It manifests itself in the composition of object, space, and writing. The observation of Ma is insightful and highly sophisticated abstraction. One learns signification about the structure of image, division of space and the rhetoric of emptiness.
The artist's jewellery is also inspired by her passion for Wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets, best savoured on the tongue. Delightful to the eyes, round and soft shapes to be worn as brooches, is an event with erotic flair. The presentation of each piece in its own Paulownia-box marked with the artist's signet is also an event, and it is a sensorial pleasure.
Fumiko processes the essences of organic materials with full sensibility, such as amber, ivory and buffalo horn, these substances are saturated with poetry of the earth.
The amber found in the Baltic States collects the light of the prehistory. The faintly blushed ivory is uncovered in the Permafrost, where the mammoths rest in the realm of shadow that Tanizaki Jun’ichiro told us about.
The artefact sets signs of seduction again with her latest work.
The series of  Kumite ni Tsugite fondle with a constructive paradigm, based on the traditional Japanese carpentry. Two wooden parts are combined and connected by a third element. From the explication of the artist, we surmise that this third element should take the forms of fava bean (Soramame), calabash (Hyôtan) or cocoon (Mayu).
The third element makes the connection between the elements. Extending beyond the work of Fumiko Gotô and unfold the concept, “the third element” becomes a contribution to general objectives. When awakened to life, figure becomes tangible. As the aim for whole pursuit, the metaphor adheres form and memory together. And if that succeeds, then we can share the dreams and ideas of different cultures together.

Ulrich Horndash

About the author

Ulrich Horndash was born in 1951. He studied art education from 1973 to 1979 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, then art history at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich. He has been working as a freelance artist since.
His work is widely exhibited and held in numerous collections in Germany and abroad, along with a series of wall installations that he was commissioned to design.
He undertakes many journeys, mostly scientifically motivated. He was a visiting professor in 1993/94 at the chair for artistic design at the architecture faculty of the Technical University of Munich. Horndash is married to the Viennese photographer Christin Losta. He lives and works in Munich.

Fumiko Gotô. Brooch: Tsugite ni Mayu tate, 2020. Mammoth ivory, buffalo horn pressed amber, silver 0.925. 5.7 x 3.2 x 1.7 cm. 
. Unique piece. Fumiko Gotô
Brooch: Tsugite ni Mayu tate, 2020
Mammoth ivory, buffalo horn pressed amber, silver 0.925
5.7 x 3.2 x 1.7 cm

Unique piece
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Fumiko Gotô. Brooch: Tsugite ni Sen naname, 2020. Mammoth ivory, buffalo horn pressed amber, silver 0.925. 4.9 x 3 x 1.7 cm. 
. Unique piece. Fumiko Gotô
Brooch: Tsugite ni Sen naname, 2020
Mammoth ivory, buffalo horn pressed amber, silver 0.925
4.9 x 3 x 1.7 cm

Unique piece
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Fumiko Gotô. Brooch: Tsugite ni Kaku, 2020. Mammoth ivory, buffalo horn pressed amber, silver 0.925. 4.4 x 3.5 x 1.7 cm. 
. Unique piece. Fumiko Gotô
Brooch: Tsugite ni Kaku, 2020
Mammoth ivory, buffalo horn pressed amber, silver 0.925
4.4 x 3.5 x 1.7 cm

Unique piece
© By the author. Read Copyright.