Department of Content and Creative Design, Faculty of Design
Associate Professor Mikako Tomotari
Member of the Sculpture Division of Society for National Art: Kokugakai
Councilor of Association for the Study of Japanese Mountain Religion
My specialism is research into the production of sculptures made from wood and iron. I also engage in discussions regarding the arts. I hold an interest in the relationship between human creativity and society, and conduct research for various art projects and the restoration of cultural artefacts.
Creation does not come about from nothing, but rather arises from a combination of various elements. Sculpture is an artform that observes and experiences nature (society), and forms invisible connections and images (existence). One can influence people’s awareness and emotions by evoking their imagination. Borrowing this kind of aesthetic communication ability, I am engaged in artistic activities contributing to disaster reconstruction efforts such as the Chuetsu Earthquake (Yamakoshi village), the Great East Japan Earthquake (the town of Namie) (Figure 1) and the Kumamoto earthquake. Following the North Kyushu flooding disaster, I created driftwood bookmarks and a sculpture as a project to give new life to driftwood resulting from the disaster, and donated these to regions affected by the disaster (Figure 2).
Moreover, focusing on Hikosan Shugendo art, I am conducting research into the destruction of cultural properties during the time of Haibutsu kishaku (movement calling for destruction of Buddhist temples, images and texts) and the changes made to their appearance to avoid this. I am working on the restoration of the cultural assets Hōkyōintō (1817, Figure 3) and Hikosan Sanshogongen Mishōtai (Kamakura Period, Figure 4) by combining traditional sculpting techniques with digital technology.
Fig. 1. Mikako Tomotari, The Cow with Nostalgia, 2012
Fig. 2. Mikako Tomotari, Asakura Dragon, Project Driftwood Reproduction, 2017
Fig. 3. Hōkyōintō Restoration Process, 2017
Fig. 4. Hikosan Sanshogongen Mishōtai Restoration Process, 2016