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Nuit Blanche 2013.

‘The Crow’ by Ko Yamazaki.

‘The Crow’ is a reflection on perseverance, resilience and transformation. Yamazaki has created this sculpture as a homage to the Daruma and its message, nanakorobi yaoki (seven times down, eight times up).

Genderless, ‘The Crow’ exists in this world to encourage deeper thought. While resembling the Daruma its shape is also suggestive of Palaeolithic fertility goddess. This softness, the feminine curves and bowed head hint at an internal, contemplative nature; a fragility and warmth, yet the masculine weight of the marble and low gravity typical of the Daruma, remind us that success and strength comes from within. The swollen ‘crow’ is expectant with new beginnings and the veins and deposits left in the marble remind us that before we were here, we were there. It appears to have the urge to transform, as if ‘The Crow’ will silently rise and shift into the night of its own accord.

This work poses an open ended narrative, acting as a point, real or imagined for world yet to be explored. Yamazaki is interested in exploring his experience through the marble; creating a new history together. His works are personalised artefacts rendered with skill. Yamazaki asks that you feel the curve of the piece and engage with it in the moment.

The Daruma has its origins in the monk Bodhidharma, seen as the first patriarch of Zen. While there are various stories surrounding the Daruma, legend has it that he sat facing a wall for nine years in meditation (zazen) without moving, causing is limbs to fall off in atrophy, at which time he attained enlightenment.

The crow in contemporary Japan is now seen by many as a menace, but originally crows were seen as divine creatures. The story of Yatagarasu is the foundation for this belief, celebrated for its ability as a navigator, Yatagarasu guided the Emperor Jimmu to safety. The crows flight and the Daruma’s content waiting, represent Yamazaki’s own personal journey.

'The Crow’ will be at home at the Goethe Institute until 7th December 2013.


“Hearing a crow with no mouth

Cry in the deep

Darkness of the night,

I feel a longing for

My father before he was born.”                                

― Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

  • 闇の夜に鳴かぬ鴉の声聞けば、生まれし前の父ぞ恋しき

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