Hirosuke Yabe (b. 1973 lives and works in Kanagawa, Japan) creates wooden sculptures using a nata, a Japanese hatchet, to conjure up a menagerie of human expressions. Ranging in size from just a few inches to several feet high, Yabe uses logwood as well as recycled discarded wood from demolished traditional Japanese houses, often over 100 years old. Captivated by the symbolic spirit of African masks, Yabe’s sculptures not only draw on the abstracted geometry of their forms, but also address the universality of the human experience, asking the question “What is it to be human?” and “What is the human being?” The resulting pieces are animal, people, anthropomorphic creates, even monsters, yet they are all metaphors of the human condition.
Recent solo exhibitions include Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York (2018); t-gallery, Tokyo (2016); Tennouzu Central Tower, Tokyo (2015, 2014) and K’s Gallery, Tokyo (2010, 2006). The artist has also participated in numerous group shows including Charles Dunn/Hirosuke Yabe, Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York (2016); A4, Tennouzu Central Tower, Tokyo (2016); The 14th DANDANS Exhibition, Maison de la culture du Japon a Paris and Galeri BOA, Paris (2015); Thinking of ENERGY – from the experience of FUKUSHIMA, German Federal Foreign Office, Berlin (2014); Dandans, a Collective of Japanese Emerging Artist, Rechtsanwaltskanzlei VON ZANTHIER & SCHULZ, Berlin (2014) ;and Dandans, a Collective of Japanese Emerging Artist, Brows & Darby, London (2013).