Moriyama Kanjiro is a unique Japanese artist who creates asymmetrical works that are incredibly modern. Like many postmodern Japanese artists, however, his works are still grounded in tradition and that makes him particularly well loved among a wide variety of different groups.

Essentially he sculpts material by taking a perfect sphere and then cutting into it. The cuts then create a sense of asymmetry but the artwork is still quite balanced. Sometimes symmetry is what provides balance to the human eye.

On the other hand, this is an example of where form and movement are provided by the act of straying away from symmetry. There’s essentially an intrinsic duality created by the way that he makes these pieces.

Moriyama Kanjiro pieces on tatami mats

Moriyama-sensei’s art installations offer a sense of movement to the viewer.

Back in 2004 the mayor of Chikugo issued him an award as part of the 25th exhibition of Chikugo art. He won a couple of Saga awards, and took the grand prize at the 45th exhibition of the Asahi ceramic show in 2007.

One could go on for some time talking about the awards that he won. There was an award issued during the 68th exhibition of the department of Fukuoka back in 2012 that went to him, commemorating his skill with the manipulation of plastics. It would be easy to do this all day. However, that says nothing about the actual artist himself.

The fact remains that this is the kind of artwork that needs to be appreciated in person. Still movement could be the best way to describe it. Various installations of the artist’s work feature areas of shadow and light that blend to produce this sense of movement. In fact some people have suggested that if they look at certain installations the right way the pieces of cut plastic look like they are more than just regular pieces of artwork.

Moriyama Kanjiro piece that looks like it could be a bowl

A few of the artist’s pieces actually resemble more traditional vessels.

Rather they almost look like they’re alive. While some art in this sense is unsettling, this isn’t the case here at all. Moriyama Kanjiro’s pieces could be seen as dark shady organisms that have sprung to life.

The pieced look like they are in the process of becoming larger. They can indicate things like growth and change. On the other hand some of his pieces additionally appear to be more like traditional vessels rather than anything exotic. That could be some of the yakimono influence showing through. Either way each of his pieces really is a feast for the eyes and shouldn’t be missed by any art students.