It is the stone, black diabase, that brings Hiroshi Koyama to leave Kyoto, Japan, for the quarries of northeastern Skåne. The challenge is a great one and he realizes early that this work could become a lifelong exploration. It is a question of using the eye, thought, and the hand’s work to evoke that which is innate in diabase so that what is vibrant and timeless can be read in its surfaces.
Within the stone, not only time is stored. As the artist works with diabase, all the contrasts of creation are exposed – between raw and polished, visible and invisible, surfaces and depths. But there is also a feeling of the nearly incomprehensible distance between prehistoric and present, light and dark.
Hiroshi Koyamas sculptures are clearly defined and grounded in their form. At the same time his work is full of a strong, quiet, condensed energy. Open and receptive senses are the only requirement for the viewer.
With an everyday perspective as a starting point, he creates a series of buttons, an iron, doors and ports – while consciously playing with the object’s original proportions and scale –and seeks beyond to that which is more abstract, complex and unlimited. This can be seen, for example, in several works entitled ”Black Hole” in which a polished circular shape, like a corona, a bright wreath, encloses something that simultaneously opens inward, toward an uncertain space. Here our eyes soon discover something that could be reflections or dust from a colorful light source.
Koyama often allows diabase to interact with other materials: the rusty and vibrant surfaces of iron and corten steel. Surfaces carrying rich traces of life and an elapsed time. In wall objects he calls ”Landscapes”, he attaches items in diabase onto square tiles of corten steel. Like a piece of concentrated nature, or perhaps a series of testimonies about what nature can contain. Where you, in the middle of what is visible, have the feeling of seeing a still unknown landscape.
The large, spatial installation ”Reminiscence” revolves around a similar theme, that of witnessing. Around a central, cubic shape, he places – with great precision and at defined distances – small diabase sculptures on platforms of rust-colored corten steel. As if these stones were fractured parts of the larger shape. Or is everything here memories and remnants of what Koyama experiences in working with stone – traces of life, the presence of time, light and sound?
Hiroshi Koyama know that simplicity is the most difficult – and that it has nothing to do with simplification. That it takes patience to succeed in creating a sense of both existential heaviness and of lightness from the stone. In concentrated form to capture the dual forces of existence, of arrestment and becoming.
He also knows that the more he approaches, and learns about, the stone, the more reluctant and evasive it can be. His artistic work is therefore a search with no real end. His work creates meaningful connection and context – between the self and the world, between what we see and what lies hidden.
Director of Kristianstad Center of Contemporary Art,