Over the past couple of months I have been slowly working on a new assemblage piece surrounding my latest figure. I’ve had this idea to create a city surrounding a figure for a very long time. Somehow, that city ended up being Japanese. I didn’t quite plan it that way when I started but when the idea came to me, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The idea that an entire city is devoted to creating this giant Mecha Buddha GOD was really enticing. This all started when I scoured for N scale train figures and stumbled upon some really amazing Japanese structures. They were 10 times better than the American N scale stuff I was finding and with my big guy. It just clicked!
I love collecting parts; it is an art in and of itself. One of the prominent parts in this sculpture came to me in 1998 from a fellow coworker. After holding on to it for 15 years it finally found a home! Some of the parts were literally found objects like the the image of the car vent pipes below. I was taking a walk on a break at work one day and stumbled upon a small car part graveyard. At first, I felt really angry to see how someone dumped all this trash in one of the few remaining bits of nature around my work. Then I started looking around. It always amazes me how random junk can become something. You just have to see it.
Some of the most fun was in placing the people in the environment. I was constantly thinking of what each person might be doing and why they were there. My son Lucian, who is nearly six-years-old now said to me, “I wish I was tiny so I could walk around inside of your sculpture, Daddy.” That has to be the best compliment I have ever heard about my work. Lucian and I spent a few nights working on this piece and building tiny houses together. I am so grateful we did, because I began seeing it though his eyes. The above figures near the Buddha’s head are he and I. I am on the left looking at instructions or schematics, while he is on the right waving at everyone looking in on the piece.
Found a WWII Zero plane and had to put it in!
One interesting notion was putting a poverty stricken shacks here and there. I researched a little and discovered that Japan sadly has one of the largest homeless populations.