Japenese artist Yui Ishibashi’s contemporary art sculptures are both unsettling and serene. Fixated on a mythological depiction of nature, the artist sculpts feral children that appear to belong to another realm of reality.
We’ve been abusing nature and our planet for far too long. And it’s not going to end well, according to artist Yui Ishibashi.
Pallid, hairless human bodies become fused with roots and vines, brought to life through a mixture of wood, resin, clay, wire and paint. Oftentimes, the figures appear imprisoned by the flora. In Then, It Returns Slowly, a pregnant woman’s face erupts with flesh-colored growths that form a tree trunk.
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Using a variety of materials, such as wood, resin, cloth, clay, steel wire, and stone powder, she often depicts figures whose roots extend and project outward in many directions. These figures appear passive and complacent to these protruding branches, aware of the lack of control they have over this organic process. Some of these protrusions seem painful or unexpected, but ultimately inevitable.
Often her figures are off-white, while their protrusions are green or red-hued. These figures are human-like, but their soft, round and white bodies give the viewer a sense they are also of the earth, resembling a plant’s bulb. Yui’s work makes us deeply aware of how we are intertwined with the natural world, and the balance and cycle of nourish and depletion that living and dying requires.
These sculptures personify nature as a force that reclaims its power from its human occupants.