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The statue of Maria has been shipped off to Nagasaki

Text: Yoshiko Nagai


Photo: Keisuke Fukamizu

Sculptor Eiji Oyamatsu’s statue of Maria, featured in the article Maria, Forty Years in the Making in Subsequence vol.4, has finally been shipped off to Minamishimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture, realizing Oyamatsu’s long-held dream.

On the day of its departure, upon arriving at his studio, Oyamatsu broke down its entrance. He then moves onto preparing the statue for its long journey—the statue is deconstructed into parts, and rope is tied around the connective pole and the bolts found on the statue’s base. The statue will then be loaded onto a forklift to carry it to the truck for its onward journey. The knots and placement of the ropes is perfectly calculated. ‘I had considered the possibility of moving it ever since I started working on it, so it’s something I can do on my own,’ he explains.

It takes two round trips in a 10-ton truck to deliver the deconstructed parts of the statue. Using as few personnel as possible, the delivery process takes three weeks to complete. Sawdust covers Oyamatsu’s now empty studio, the room aglow in a soft light from the midsummer sun that comes pouring in through the newly built corrugated iron roof after the old roof had to be destroyed to construct the head of Maria.

Now, in the specially created ocean-facing hall in Minamishimabara, work begins on putting together and coloring the large wooden base for the statue. Oyamatsu wastes no time and heads to Minamishimabara the day after the delivery is completed to set to work on this months-long task.

Yoshiko Nagai
She became an independent curator, after having worked for a company planning and producing cultural activities. She connects creators, artworks, and audiences by creating and communicating values in a way that suits the environment. She is the author of “Out of line,” an exhibition by Alison Turnbull (2020, Tokyo), and the booklet Materia Prima, which is published irregularly.

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