Noe Aoki, moya (cloud valley), 2012. Iron, installation view.

Noe Aoki

Aichi Prefecture, Japan

Toyota City Museum and Nagoya City Museum

In the field of Japanese heavy metal sculpture, Noe Aoki stands out for her transformation of iron into a malleable, almost lightweight material. A 1983 graduate of Musashino Art University, outside of Tokyo, she has been included in numerous museum group shows and was awarded a Minister of Education New Artist Prize in 2000. This show marked her first major retrospective exhibition. The visual quality of iron remains intact, even in her earliest pieces. An abstract assembly of iron staffs can evoke a mound of holders for prayer candles (Untitled, 1992) or a large bundle of torchlights (Untitled, 1997). Aoki seems fond of upward growth in these works. Cumulus Cloud (2002), on the other hand, looks like a pile of old scraps at first, without immediate reference. …see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.