MICHIO IHARA's most famous & well seen work is in the great entrance hall of the Rockefeller Center, NY. This spacious 35ft high space has, since 1978, been enhanced by his ten elegant, huge, luminous panels of small shimmering gold & copper-plated steel fragments which cascade from ceiling to floor. Like leaves fluttering on a tree or vibrating in the breeze, each unique individual panel is up-lit by a warm glow.
Called the 'Vivaldi of metal', Ihara was born in Paris, educated in Japan & lives in Massachusetts. His large sculptures are sited all over the world: Tokyo, New Zealand, Australia, Boston, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, & across North America. But I got to know his work in my husband's apartment, where maquettes & models for large commissions were displayed. Now they have a home at the Mitchener Museum. I miss them! Especially I loved a beautiful piece from 1970 which hung on the wall above my computer! The giant version was for a Tokyo steel company.
Another 1984 kinetic sculpture, (for the Tokushima Press building in Shikoku,) perched high up while a 1991 spinning cube work for Tokyo City Hall sat on our cocktail table. Variations of the City Hall model were later given as awards by the Fulbright Organization in Japan
Now 85, Ihara was a minimalist well before minimalism. His Japanese ethic of clean, simple, delicate design coupled with a gift for collaboration with architects and engineers, has made him a star. And he's not done yet. A big retrospective this summer left several big outdoor pieces beside Concord's Art Association & his modernist work, "Wind" sits near Boston City Hall on State St. Lovely. http://www.michioihara.com