Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Biole, Carson, Dasha, Marisa – Tomoaki Suzuki Copy

Theano June 18, 2021

Step One: Immerse yourself in the artwork

What are these figurines?

The Triennial features a collection of 9 works by Tomoaki Suzuki made over the last 12 years. Each of them are named for the real life people that they are modelled on. The most recent addition to the series is Marisa – wearing a mask as the piece was completed remotely during lockdown last year.

Step Two: Understanding the artwork

How are they made?

Over the past two decades, Suzuki has employed a unique approach in creating his hand carved lime wood sculptures. The first stage is the selection of the model. The artist looks for people with a distinctive sense of style, immersed in the present. Once the model is identified, Suzuki takes hundreds of photographs and hours of videos.

After that, he begins the process of sculpting the figure out of a piece of wood. This stage usually lasts for several months and involves many sessions from life, with the model posing in front of the artist in the studio. The final stage is the painting of the sculpture to capture the different textures and tones of clothing and skin.

The figures are scaled down to one third of the model’s size, and when installed, they are positioned directly on the floor.

A member of the NGV Team talks you through the work below:

Watch a quick interview with the artist below:

Step Three: Draw your own conclusions

In the Masterclass you will be introducing your peers who looked at other works to Megafauna. As such, it’s important that you feel comfortable talking about Suzuki’s work.

Create a document and take notes on the following prompts (150 words per prompt):

  • What interested you about the figurines that made you choose to investigate it?
  • How would you explain this artwork to someone who knows nothing about it?
  • Are you impressed by the work? What do you take away from it?