Soldiers in Brass

Welcome to The Maridon. We stand guard at the top of the atrium entrance to greet our visitors and stand guard. We were created by Fumina Hora as brass sculpture ‘Soldiers’ as part of a set of works titled ‘Hina’ in Hong Kong. The works ‘Hina’ were created for her solo exhibition in Central, Hong Kong, after her prize-winning at Philippe Charriol Foundation Art Competition in 2002. We stand life-size (H:83”xW:48”) and are called by some, “spectacular works.”  We traveled from Hong Kong to Pittsburgh in 2006 together with the artist and were presented as gifts to The Maridon Museum, prior to her returning to Japan in 2011.

We might appear to be made from silk, but if examined closely, our voluminous folds are made of brass mesh. Our creator employed methods representing ‘women’s endless tasks and chores.’ She used the brass as if it were fabric; cutting, crumbling, folding, gathering, making pleats of it, and sewing it together with a piece of metal fiber as if it were thread. She reflected, “Sometimes the encounter with the material can be a part of the inspiration for a new work.”  We are fixed onto wooden boards with brass nails and spider web-like brass metallic thread clinging around the contour of our figures. Ms. Hora interprets the strings as, “boundaries of old culture and traditions.”

We are embedded with photos from the early to middle 20th century taken from Ms. Hora’s Mother’s family album. They connote the loss of history, memory, and traditions. Ms. Hora described, “Working with these old photographs felt like collecting the roots of my own identity.”