Hideo Sawada is a sculptor from Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture. He studied Sculpture at Tokyo University of the Arts, before attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Germany to train in Western Sculpture. Despite his further training, Sawada’s sculptures, which he began exhibiting in galleries in Japan from 1989, demonstrate Japanese traditional aesthetics rather than any influence of Western naturalistic sculptures.
Whilst his small-scale sculptures are figurative, Sawada refrains from giving his characters distinct facial features or expressions, with the hope that the simple forms will allow the viewers to interact with the work and imagine freely depending on their mood. He seeks simplified forms by intentionally breaking and deforming the shape that he has made, a process that allows him to find the balance between himself and the character of each material.
With slow and careful carving of their loosely rendered faces, the figures display Sawada’s adherence to representing the essence of nature as opposed to replicating it.