Courtesy: SCFA

Moon Beyond the Fence

Pearl City, Hawaii

Satoru Abe

Pearl City High School, 2100 Hookiekie St, Pearl City, Hawaii, 96782
Date:  1981
Placement:  schools (buildings)
Artwork Type:  wall pieces
Material:  metal
Description:  Satoru Abe was born in Honolulu, and attended McKinley High School. In 1948, he moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League under Louis Bouche, Jon Carrol and Georg Grosz. He returned to Hawaii after only two years, where he met lifelong friend and fellow artist Isami Doi. The older Doi became a profound spiritual and aesthetic influence. Abe then journeyed to Japan to “find a cultural identity,” and held two one-man shows in Tokyo. He revisited New York in 1956, where he joined the Sculpture Center, and received a Guggenheim grant in 1963. In 1970, back in Honolulu, he received a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and became the artist-in-residence at Waianae High School. His art appears in many private and public collections, ranging from corporate office displays in Hawaii to solo exhibits in Tokyo. Most noted for his welded metal and wood sculptures, Abe has also explored two-dimensional painting. As he explains, “I started as a painter, but evolved into a sculptor.” His sculpture suggests forms from nature, especially trees with their network of branches and roots, majestic columnar trunks, leaves and tiny seedpods. These sculptures, reflective of trees, are an embodiment of nature’s ceaseless life cycle. As an artist and human being, Abe is profoundly drawn to roundness, symmetry and the completeness of a work or individual. For Abe, creating sculpture is primarily hard labor with three “moments of ecstasy”: when one conceives his artistic idea; when one knows, in the midst of work, that the artistic dream will be realized; and when one completes the work.

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