Like no other "Artwork"

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This is a moment which is positioned such that it leads the observer's gaze in the direction of Mount Fuji. Mr. Izumi says, "I thought about which type of stone in the world would be best suited to receive the light reflecting off of Mount Fuji, and I concluded that it would be the white Ajiishi of Shikoku. The picture that I had in mind was of a mirror reflecting the image of Mount Fuji in the way that the stone reflects the purity of white snow."

People who visit the Nippondaira Hotel are greeted by a monument that is ancient, yet new. The monument offers a heartfelt message to visitors, which gives them a sense of peace. It seems that the voice that Mr. Izumi imagined for this stone, when he was commissioned to give it new life as a piece of modern art, was one which silently tells the story of the hotel as a whole.

These stones, which were rooted in the earth, can be considered "living stones" because of the way that they were chiseled and polished, their depth, and the way that their placement gives them a sense of aliveness. Focusing on the interconnectedness of the stones give a sense of space in which heavy stones appear light, hard stones appear soft, and motionless stones appear to move.

These stones are located in a garden that we have newly installed adjacent to our "Fukian" Japanese restaurant. These beautiful stone works are positioned in an abstract manner in three decorative pools in the garden. They are made from huge pieces of granite that were mined on Inujima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea. Diabase gravel and straight pieces of black granite, which were produced locally in Shizuoka, are used for the floor of the decorative pool.

■Summary of career
1938
Masatoshi Izumi was born in Murecho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture to a family that for generations had produced traditional stone sculptures.
1953
Mr. Izumi started working with stones and learning the processes of breaking apart, chiseling, and polishing stones.
1964
Mr. Izumi established an "atelier for stones" in order to explore the possibilities of using stones for construction, gardens, and so forth. In this year, he met Isamu Noguchi and started down the path of modern stone sculptures. He would collaborate with Mr. Noguchi as an artistic partner for the next 25 years. Mr. Izumi also began collaborating with modern architects and becoming involved in sculptures and stone works for gardens. He became President of the Atelier for Stones and Director of the Isamu Noguchi Japan Foundation public interest incorporated foundation.

■Major works (works with Isamu Noguchi are marked with asterisks)
1969
Sculpture entitled "Black Sun" at the Seattle Art Museum *
1987
Sculpture entitled "Tsukubai" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art *
1994
Display stones and stone walls at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
1997
Display stones at the New National Theatre, Tokyo
2001
Sculpture entitled "Breath" at Donna Karan New York
2003
Stone sculpture entitled "Tsukubai" at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
2004
Large waterfall at the Kyoto State Guest House
2007
Outdoor stone sculpture entitled "Mui / Mufui" located on the second floor balcony of the National Palace Museum Main Building in Taiwan
2009
Display stones and stone walls at the Japan Business Federation Building in Otemachi
2011
Stone sculpture entitled "Shimatachi" at the Art Institute of Chicago