“Appreciate the Moment”-Isamu Noguchi

“We Are A Landscape of All We Have Seen.”-Noguchi

World famous sculptor, Isamu Noguchi was born today in 1904 in Los Angeles, but lived in Japan up until the age of 13. He was on the road to becoming a doctor at Columbia University when he started taking some sculpture classes in the evening and that was it. Goodbye Columbia University. Goodbye to being a doctor. Noguchi did “appreciate the moment” by creating works and movements that brought people together and highlighted the freedoms and justices all Americans should have regardless of their ethnicity. “The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the backlash against Japanese-Americans in the United States had a dramatic personal effect on Noguchi, motivating him to become a political activist.  In 1942 he started

Nisei Writers and Artists Mobilization for Democracy, a group dedicated to raising awareness of the patriotism of Japanese-Americans.  He also asked to be placed in an internment camp in Arizona, where he lived for a brief seven months.  Following the War, Noguchi spent a great deal of time in Japan exploring the wrenching issues raised during the previous years.  His ideas and feelings are reflected in his work of the time, particularly the delicate slab sculptures included in the 1946 exhibition “Fourteen Americans,” at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.”the noguchi museum site

Noguchi was an extremely creative individual who also did stage sets, outdoor playgrounds and parks and  “in 1937 he designed a Bakelite intercom for the Zenith Radio Corporation, and in 1947, his glass-topped table was produced by Herman Miller.  This design—along with others such as his designs for Akari Light Sculptures which was developed in 1951 using traditional Japanese materials—are still being produced today.”noguchimuseum

Long Island City, NY, is home to Noguchi’s museum which he opened in 1985 complete with a garden and galleries filled with his work. Years ago I saw an excellent documentary on American Masters on PBS and since then I’ve been a fan of Isamu Noguchi.

Viewing Noguchi’s work gives one Good Vibrations, which hit #1 for The Beach Boys in the United Kingdom in 1966. I have read that his Serenity Park in Long Island City “is contemplative, quiet, filled with grasses, shrubs, bamboo, and trees—feeling ever so much like a Japanese temple garden, right down to some of the carefully manicured pines.”Rick Rubens

Sounds like a good place to “appreciate the moment.”


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