I carve small things, but, although small – so small that they are sometimes unnoticed – they have the potential to change the way we appreciate a space. I believe that art can change our perspective and way of thinking. It motivates us to see things we might not otherwise see.
Yoshihiro Suda was born in Yamanashi, Japan in 1969. Suda studied at the Tama Art University, where he obtained his B.A. in 1992. He currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. Suda’s interest in woodcarving plants developed while he was a student at Tama Art University in Tokyo, in the early 1990s. “I moved to Tokyo when I was 18 to attend Tama Art University,” he explains in an interview. “Ironically, when I lived in the countryside, I had no interest in nature, but when I moved to the city, I developed an strong interest for it”.
Suda’s studies allowed him to discover traditional Japanese art, which influenced him to develop a keen discipline and an awareness of the importance of detail. Moreover, the university helped him define himself as an artist. By the time Suda finished his studies, it was clear to him that his professional path would lead him to make art in a small scale.
“I can’t do anything big! In terms of scale, I think there are artists who by nature are able to create work on a large scale. I’m just different from them. When I was in college, I did a lot of drawings and carvings of objects other than plants and flowers, but I’ve always been more comfortable with plants and flowers. I continue to make my natural ornamental sculptures because I can’t get enough of them.”
His first solo exhibition, Ginza Weed Theory, took place inside a rental truck parked on a street in Ginza, Tokyo, in 1993. Since then, his work rapidly started to obtain recognition and has been exhibited in Japan and around the world. Suda Yoshihiro has dedicated his artistic career to continue perfecting his skills as a sculptor, and attempts to transmit calm and patience with his pieces.
“Lately I feel the pace of life is too fast. New devices and technologies appear one after the other. However, we humans do not necessarily evolve at the same pace. Therefore, for anything that demands technique, like art, you need to take time to gradually develop skills.”
Influenced by the tradition of the great Japanese sculptors, Suda shows objects such as plants, elevating them to defy our preconceived ideas of what a work of art is or could be. Suda conceives his work as a meeting point between him and the viewer. Thus, one of the central elements for his practice is the desire to awaken a reflection on what happens beyond a first glance. His work brings back to the present traditional ideas of beauty and craftsmanship in art and invites the viewer to look more closely at the seemingly irrelevant details of our daily life.
Yoshihiro Suda lives and works in Tokyo. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including the Contemporary Art Centre of Melbourne (Australia), the Palais de Beaux Arts of Lille (France), the Kyoto Art Centre (Japan) during the Kyoto Biennial, and the group show Out of the
Ordinary at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. His work is in collections such as the National Museum of Art in Tokyo, the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the New Art Gallery Walsall in Birmingham, the Jumex Museum Collection in Mexico and the Benesse House collection in the island of Naoshima (Japan).