Nadine Baldow’s ARTIST STATEMENT, Dec 28th 2023 : Concept of the site-specific sculpture in Hirono


My work is informed by Landscape Investigation. It means I am observing the Hirono and its surroundings with all my senses.

My methods are walking, photography, and taking notes.

The aim for this residency is to create a sculpture in alignment with the tradition of TORIGOYA – like the TORIGOYA itself, it will be burned. I noticed that the presence of the sea is of high importance for this area/landscape – it nurtures the people and brings beauty and destruction. My plan was to work with local materials, and I was drawn to bamboo immediately.

After a few days of observation, I can be more precise: I will solely work with materials that stem from the area the tsunami reached in 2011, which means the beach, and the fields to the railway.

Right now, I am collecting bamboo and driftwood from the beach, and weeds near the fields. These elements will be assembled on-site. Additionally, I will add one material of man-made origin (The material is still unclear). If you would like to participate in this process, I invite you to collect materials as well.

Please feel free to bring materials that origin from this area – keep in mind the sculpture will be burned.

You can either choose to bring materials, or even assemble them yourself – either way, your work will find its way into my sculpture.

Please do not approach or touch my sculpture yourself – it can be dangerous, as the construction is still in process.

Please be patient with me – I am happy to chat via translator, but it is important for my work to stay focused. When I am staring at my sculpture or handling with tools, I need to stay concentrated to ensure a good quality of work and a safe working environment.

Let’s stay work related to archive the best large scale sculpture possible in this short time! However, I will be here on the day the TORIGOYA is burned – and I will be more than happy to exchange thoughts with you on a deeper level.

Thank you for having me.

Nadine Baldow, Artist from Berlin

With my colleague Painter from Yamagata, Minori Aoki