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Michio Ihara

 (born 1928)
Michio Ihara is active/lives in Massachusetts, New York / France, Japan.  Michio Ihara is known for architectural, kinetic sculpture.

Michio Ihara

Biography from the Archives of askART

A Japanese American, born in France in 1928, Michio Ihara obtained American citizenship in 2001, and from 1981 has lived in Concord, Massachusetts. Ihara describes himself as an architecural sculptor.  Many of his pieces are kinetic or wind sculptures such as Wind Cubes at the DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts.  His artistic focus is exploring ". . .time as a creative element allowing change and motion; and nature, combining forces of light, wind, heat and manpower for constructive ends."  (decordova)

He studied in Tokyo at the University of Fine Arts, and on a Fulbright Grant, at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston on a Fulbright Grant received in 1961.  In 1970, he became a permanent resident of Massachusetts and also became a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT.

His first one-man show was in New York City at the Staempfli Gallery in 1977.

In July 1978, Ihara's sculpture pieces titled Light and Movement were installed in the main lobby, north and south walls, of the Fifth Avenue entrance to the International Building at Rockefeller Center in New York City.  Commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller who wanted a modernist update to the lobby, which had been filled with commercial signs, the work has two parts and is set against a flat background of copper leaf.  Each section is 35 feet high, seven feet wide and two feet deep, and is made of stainless steel wire, copper leaf, gilded sheet metal and quartz lighting effects.  Rockefeller Center archivist Christine Roussel writes of the work:  "It adds softness and elegance to the area and creates a haze of light that lessens the cold steel and stone of the modern lobby and entrance.  . . .Ihara used modern lights and man-made materials as his palette to produce a synergism between art and technology that expresses a glowing radiant calm silently embracing the passerby." (114)

Other locations of sculpture by Michio Ihara are: Rockland Sculpture Park in West Nyack, New York; 101 Constitution Avenue Building in Washington DC; Chicago Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois; Grant/Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; Colorado Springs Municipal Airport in Colorado Springs; Ikenoue Christ Church in Tokyo, Japan; and Shinsegae Department Store Atrium in Seoul, South Korea.

Sources include:

Christine Roussel, The Guide to the Art of Rockefeller Center

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About  Michio Ihara

Born:  1928 - Paris, France
Known for:  architectural, kinetic sculpture