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January 31, 2006

Artist bring Snow to Renaissance Society

Crowds packed the fourth floor of Cobb Hall as sculptor Yutaka Sone debuted a new exhibition at the Renaissance Society Sunday. The exhibition, entitled Forecast: Snow, features a “forest” of real pine trees, complete with fake snow and winding paths. Scattered throughout the forest are marble sculptures of snowflakes and other objects representative of winter.

Speaking at the opening, Sone said that he was happy to be in Chicago, “[introducing] the beautifulness of snow.” Sone crafted the many sculptures featured in the exhibition, focusing on the structure of the snowflake but also including snowballs, a ski lift, and a life-sized snowman. Recalling the mountains of his childhood in Japan, Sone said that he developed an early passion for snow and nature.

Sone spoke of the similarities and differences between snow and marble. The sculptures, he said, were an “exchange of pure white material from the ground and snow from the clouds.” Like each snowflake, Sone added, each piece of stone is different.

“I could have gone to the library, looked in books, but I wanted a personal, direct relationship to the snowflakes,” he said.

Sone, 41, was born in Japan and trained as an architect. He now resides in Los Angeles, where he has a studio. His previous exhibits have included Jungle Island, a display at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art featuring sculpted freeway interchanges set in a jungle of tropical plants, as well as Birthday Party, a video installation in Munster, Germany.