Rika Akahori is a Japanese sculptress from Gifu, who started sculpting motivated by a feeling of a “Lack of Self”, a need to feel her creativity, as she says to me.
Lack of the Self. What does it mean?
Sculpting is creating shapes from a shapeless material, something that is tied to aesthetics of course: if human beings weren’t touched by sculptures, it would be totally unnecessary.
To give something a shape is very similar giving a birth, when watching her at work is just like a mother with her child. Rika’s sculptures are perfectly smooth in her calibrated hands. I saw her molding clay once at Cova’s Art School, in Milan’s Corso Vercelli, and watching her became a spiritual experience: she was carefully and gently caressing the clay to bring forth the shape she desired.
Most of Rika’s artwork reminds us roundcurves like rain drops or even tears. They are so fragile that it is hard to believe that a human hand made them. Her favourite artwork is “Harmony”.
The choice of the material is also important, it is what an artist expresses himself through. All her work “It is like a self-portrait, well, kind of”.
Then she tells me: “I don’t like using chemical components much. I’d much rather keep close to Nature, as far as I can”.
The materials she likes: bronze, ceramic, wood.
“I believe my hands blend in well with these materials. I think there’s some kind of affinity between us”.
Future plans? Rika would love to have her own laboratory: “When I’m back to Japan, I would like to have a large space, with white walls. A space where only light, darkness and volume exist: no decoration, only essencial form”.
“I would like my place to give me comfort, to give strength to live! Let me sleep in peace”.
After six years in Italy, Rika has got back to her hometown in Japan. Life is quite different there, but she is readapting herself well.
And now, I’m waiting for the day when she lets me know that she has found her caring corner.
I am doing a research about the three main tools (daiku no sanpō, 大工の三宝) used by Japanese carpenters since the ancient times.
You will see next week.