David Umemoto is a sculptor and architect from Montreal, Canada. In his Artistic Approach, he states that his miniature concrete works stand as studies about volume. Each piece evokes temporary buildings or monuments based on far-away lands, thus conveying numerous images in the mind.
“They refer to the archaic and the ephemeral, despite the solidity and the modernity of the medium. Appearing before our eyes are pre-Columbian rock dwellings, god statues from the Andes or Easter Island, steles deteriorated by rain, remnants of modern cities having survived a cataclysm, fragments of Babylonian cities, colonial settlements brought down to their foundations, cenotaphs abandoned in the jungle…”
The production process is slow and silent: just like the natural transformation of the land, erosion, re-creation. His works shift and change, as nature does in the perpetual struggle between time and weather conditions. Luckily for us, we have had the honor of chatting with him.
PS: Hi, David, nice to meet you. Thank you for taking the time for our interview. Can you tell us, how did you start your sculpting career?
DU: Oh, thank you. I graduated in architecture in 1998 and worked for a few years in firms, then freelanced for about 10 years mostly in design and computer graphics. In 2010, I spent one year in Indonesia working with artisans mostly with metal foundries and this was the turning point.
PS: Where do you find inspiration for your sculptures?
DU: In architecture, of course, but also in nature. I especially like deserts and geological formations.
PS: They say that architecture is the mother of all arts. Do you agree?
DU: That has been pretty much my life for the past 20 years and I don’t know much about other forms of art. I tried for a while doing prints and drawings but ultimately, I came back to 3D where I really feel more comfortable.
PS: Your installations so far have been small in size, but great in imagery. Do you plan to keep them that way or to expand them in size and complexity?
DU: That’s a good question. I really don’t know the answer. Sometimes I feel like scaling up but I’m not sure how pertinent my work would become if made full scale.
PS: What was your biggest success so far and what would you like to achieve in the future?
DU: I’ve had a great exhibition in Australia last year in Melbourne and Sydney and I think so far it was my biggest success. I’m currently working with a new partner in Europe and we’ll have a show in Antwerp, Belgium opening March 15th at Modern Shapes Gallery. From there, we’ll see…
PS: And finally, what would you recommend to our readers and fellow visual artists: what should they focus on to become great designers and artists?
DU: I really believe in Picasso’s famous quote: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
Below we present you only some of his hand-made architectural pieces.