Mitsunori Kimura 木村 充伯


Mitsunori Kimura (b. 1983) was born in Shizuoka, Japan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Sculpture from Nagoya Zokei University. After graduating with a master’s degree in Fine Arts in Environmental Art from the same university in 2007, Kimura has actively participated in group exhibitions not only in Japan and Asia but in Europe as well, including Biennale de Lyon 2017, meanwhile the artist has also held solo exhibitions in Japan and Korea throughout the years.

Kimura is a sculptor who creates works by wood carving and oil paint modelling, he picks up the motifs of his works from daily moments and unexpected intimacy — curious, childlike and playful — at first glance, many of Kimura’s works share a humorous and amusing aspect to them. Enchanted by animals and inspired by artists like Katsura Funakoshi and Georg Baselitz, as well as animalism omnipresently developed around the 5th and the 6th century ancient Japan, the artist works exclusively with the material of wood, the final outcome of the work ultimately depends on the characteristics of the material. In 2015, Kimura started experimenting with a unique carving method on the surface of wood using a chainsaw, as if actual hair is growing out of the wooden panels or sculptures, this is not an intent to reflect on the transience of life but instead, it alludes to the obscurification of the intermediate, or rather, the liminal state between life and death.

In September 2020, while participating in an artist residency program at Kamoe Art Center in Hamamatsu, Japan, impacted by COVID-19, Breathe (2020) was born — an ongoing sculptural project that evolves around various species of animals and the idea of ‘breathing’ — a simple yet complicated process undertaken by the lungs of both human and animal, in an attempt to explore deeper into our coexisting relationship with animals under the current social climate.

In July 2022, as a part of the Aichi Triennale 2022 Partnership event, at the exhibition of GROWING SPACE (2022), further expanding on the vocabularies of this work series Breathe (2020), Kimura has turned our heads to saiga, a critically endangered antelope that’s not found in Japan, whose outstanding feature noticeably is perhaps its large nose, that serves to warm and moisten inhaled air during winter while cooling it down during summer. The artist has chosen to work with hinoki this time, a type of wood on the other hand, that’s widely available here in the country. By bringing saiga to our attention and drawing the distance closer to this sacred creature, Kimura does not only remind us that we, along with the animals, are all involved in the natural cycle of breathing, but the artist also ponders on what it means to exist and to live as a human being, questions what fundamentally lies within the relationship between humans, animals and nature in a contemporary human-centre society.




2022年7月、国際芸術祭「あいち2022」パートナーシップ事業の一環として開催された本展「GROWING SPACE」でにおい、木村は「呼吸」という作品シリーズの延長として、「サイガ」に焦点を当てました。サイガとは、中央アジアに生息する牛科の草食動物で、絶滅危惧種に指定されています。サイガの特徴は、何と言ってもその大きな鼻です。この鼻は、冬場は吸い込んだ空気を暖めて湿らせる一方、夏場は空気を冷やすという機能をもっています。サイガを表現する素材として、木村は日本に広く分布するヒノキを選びました。サイガに着目し、この神聖な動物と私たちとの距離感を縮めることで、木村は、人間も動物も呼吸という自然のサイクルに関わっていることを改めて教えてくれます。その一方、木村は人間として存在し、生きることの意味に思いを馳せながらも、人間主体の現代社会における「自然/人間/動物」の関係の基本的な共通点とは何か?と問いかけます。


“Despite that I wasn’t really sure, I never wanted to quit as an artist, I just kept my fingers crossed and hoped that the works may eventually sell one day.”

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©YAMAMOTO Tadasu, courtesy of Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Aomori Public University
©Ru Yi Tan, courtesy of the artist
©Ru Yi Tan, courtesy of the artist
©Yuta Togo, courtesy of the artist
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