Masa Suzuki
Masa Suzuki employs traditional Japanese woodcarving techniques to make artworks which focus on the differences and disjunctions between the religious practices and cultures in the West and in the East, and the `mis-readings’ that can occur between the two cultures.
Of his recent series of works he has written,

I am particularly intrigued by the way the beggars sit all day without doing anything else. They just sit still and beg. This reminds me of how the Zen monks spend their time. Monks seek enlightenment by sitting still for long periods as part of their practice in the temple, and they make their living through other people’s donations because their meditation is respected. The circumstances and differences between these two groups of people are great, but interestingly, there are similarities in the way they spend their time. By creating a work depicting beggars, I want to draw attention to the lowest class of people in society, and to place them in one of the most respected cultural contexts-the world of contemporary art.

His residency is hosted by both the Historic Carving and Fine Art Departments and he looks forward to discussing his ideas and techniques with students from both areas. The residency builds upon a visit of master carvers and conservation specialists from Tokyo University of the Arts in May 2017 funded by the Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Toshiba Foundation.


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