Shigeo Fukuda

Shigeo Fukuda (1932 – )

See Masters of Deception for complete biographical details and descriptive examples of Fukuda’s work.

Movies Related to this Artist
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Shadow Sculptures:
• Clamps Play the movie to see Shigeo Fukuda construct a shadow sculpture out of clamps.

• Lunch with a Helmut On (Welded forks, knives, spoons, 1987 – 186 x 79 x 108 cm)
This shadow sculpture of a motorcycle is built entirely out of welded forks, knives, and spoons. It is based on an earlier concept that Fukuda exhibited in his 1965 show, “Toys and Things Japanese.” Fukuda wanted to create a three-dimensional object in which the shadow, as opposed to the actual form, represented the actual object. Fukuda was to remark that it is extremely difficult to create a three-dimensional object in this fashion that allows light to evenly penetrate in this fashion. Fukuda utilized 848 pieces of cutlery to construct this work.

• Aquarium for Swimming Characters (1988)

Impossible Objects:
• Disappearing Pillar (Sculpture in wood, 1985)
This is a physical construction of an impossible columnade, which is based on the classic drawing of an impossible fork. There are three cylindrical columns at the top and two rectangular columns at the bottom. Somehow, they transform into each other. It is only possible to see this impossible configuration from one angle. Viewing this sculpture from any other angle will destroy the illusion. This is a computer generated movie showing how Fukuda’s Disappearing Pillar is constructed.

• Three Dimensional Belvedere (1982)

• Three-Dimensional Model of Escher’s Waterfall (Sculpture in wood, 1985 – 150 x 150x 150 cm) This is a physical construction of M. C. Escher’s famous print of an impossible building, “Waterfall.” This sculpture works with flowing water, which appears to run up the ramp and over the turning waterwheel, only to continue the process in a never-ending cycle of redundant motion.

• Grapes Play the movie to see how the grapes suddenly switch places on the steps.

Transformations: • Cat/Mouse (1974)
Play the video see the mouse transform into a cat.

• Encore (Sculpture in wood, 1976 – 50 x 50 x 30 cm)
From one angle, the sculpture depicts a pianist. But if you turn it by 90 degrees you will see a violinist. The third photo shows an intermediate point of view, where you can see how the pianist transforms into the violinist. This wooden sculpture consists of two silhouettes (the pianist and the violinist) at 90° angles to each other. In fact, you can create an endless variety of these silhouette sculptures simply by carefully cutting a block from two different silhouettes at 90° angles to each other. Fukuda has made a large number of sculptures utilizing this technique, and his discovery of this principle led to the first utilization of his work in three-dimensional forms. “Encore” is part of a series of metamorphosing musicians captured at different stages of a concert.

• Love Story (1973)

• Man (1974)
Play the video to see how the man is transformed into the Japanese symbol for “Man.”

• Woman (1974)

• Underground Piano (1984 -120 x 150 x 150 cm)
Play the movie to see this strange collection of parts transform into the reflection of a perfect piano when seen from one specially defined viewing angle.

• Mural at the Gymnasium of Taishido Junior High School, Tokyo Play the movie to see how the anamorphic figures transform.

• Gogh’s Sunflowers (1988)

• Fresh Guy. Arcimboldo (1988 – 105 x 300 x 170)
Fukuda anamorphically presents a distorted version of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Vertumnus, whose image becomes undistorted when seen in the mirror.

• Venus in a Mirror (1984) The Venus de Milo is stretched the side way to 1.5 meters.