Words of Thanks
This year, I reach my 10th year as a sculptor. I started sculpturing from the age of 30, late-blooming. I owe my activity of sculpturing to many people all over the world. What is my particulaly great experience is that I sculptured a 5 tons marble for 4 years in a foreign country, then never been in Japan.
At first, thank those people who helped me in Italy for their help and kindness, Signor Lattanzi, Hotel Michelangelo, Signora Fumie Kakinuma Signori, the wife of the late sculptor, Signor Carlo Sergio Signori, sculptor Signor Franco Cervietti and his Japanese wife, Mrs.Hisayo. She interpreted for us, and his words "Depending on your ability, a white marble sivec will be a masterpiece."started me going over to Macedonia, where is a sivec marble producing country, via Greece, 7 years ago.
I stayed in Macedonia, for 4 years. Thank Macedonian people for their help and kindness, Mr.Dime Janeski and Mrs.Gordana Barbic Janeska, International Art Colony in Prilep, and their family, Architekt Mr. Ljupcho Botseski and his family, Mrs. Elena Pereska and her family, Mr. Sotir Popodanoski and his family, Mrs. Suzana Naumoska and her family, and Photographer Mr.Zvonko Petroski and his family. They all accepted me as a member of their family. All the photos of "Vita Nuova" were taken by him. My first friends in Prilep are Mr.Kire and his staff, Cafe Forum, Goce, Tose, Tome, ...etc. They gave me a comfortable place in Prilep.
Thanks all the people of Mermeren Kombinat (marble factory) in Prilep, in which I made my work "Vita Nuova"for 4 years, for their help and kindness, especially Mr.Pece, Mrs.Sneze, Mr.Spiro, Mr.Kiro, Mr.Ordan, and Greek staff, Mr.Fotis, Mr.Dimitori, Mr.Vasili. The owner, Mr.Ilias Kiriakidis, F.H.L.Kiriakidis GROUP, always showed kind consideration for me and helped me in various ways.
People in Prilep always invited me to their home friendly, and I had a good time. Mrs.Kazu Lesnikovska, Honorary Consulate General of Japan in Skopje, cared about me during my stay in Macedonia and entertained me with Japanese style food. Mr. Hiroshi Matsumoto, Japan Actions for Relief Center, came to Prilep expressly to interview me for a Japanese magazine "World Affairs Weekly"and cared about me after that.
I rented a vacation house as my studio and residence at Ljubanista village beside Lake Ohrid. The owner, Mr.Krume Mostrov and Mrs.Zlata cared about me, and she entertained me with Macedonian food. Their son, Mr.Blagoj and Mrs.Saska, who speak in English, took me to various places in Ohrid town. People in Ljubanista always warmly welcomed me and puppies, took to me at my studio, always made me calm.
Sveti Naum, St.Naum Church, always greeted me with the most beautiful scenery all the world for me. Father Nektarij, Mr.Donco, Mrs.Voskre, Sase and None always welcomed me as a member of family. A view from Hotel Sveti Naum and restaurant was marvelous, and the staff were always kind to me. On a spring at the foot of St.Naum Church, I enjoyed riding on Mr.Stefan and Mr.Nicola's boat almost 100 times and meditating for a while. This record will not be broken until now, I think.
I went to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, for models and met wonderful people. At first, thank two women, who worked as my model. They came to my studio by bus for 15 hours. It was not only hard, but also courageous for them, as Serbian, to come to my studio located near the border between Macedonia and Albania. Painter Mr.Kolja, a graduate student and an assistant of an art college, introduced many friends to me and made me enjoy Belgrade. Scuptor Mr.Zoran Ivanovic not only looked for my models, but also taught me unkown technique for me about sculpture. His wife and two daughters welcomed me with Serbian food. Different from images through the mass media, Serbian people have open mind and are warm. Mr.Mihailo Jerotijevic and Mrs.Tina invited me as one of main guests to their wedding reception in Kraljevo.
Thank All the staff of F.H.L.TRADING in Athens, F.H.L.Kiriakidis GROUP, for keeping My work "Vita Nuova"and their kindness. I owe my coming back to Japan and my sculpturing activity as feeling relieved to them. I wish the day will come soon, that I can exhibit "Vita Nuova"actually and many people can appreciate her.
After coming back to Japan, I was devoted to making a bust statue of Ayrton Senna. At first, thank Mrs.Viviane Senna for her appreciating and checking my work by her eyes. And the staff of Ayrton Senna Foundation helped me in various ways. Especially thank Mr.Benny Goldenberg for his advice. This bust statue is for them, who succeed to Ayrton's last wishes and continue their activities. Most of pictures which I referred to for making this statue are taken by photographer Mr.Masakazu Miyata, and he helped me in various ways. And Mr.Yoshiyuki Goto, Mr.Susumu Osato, All Out Co.,Ltd, and his staff helped me.
Thank my teacher, Mr.Yutaka Sayeki for his understanding and supporting me. I was only a graduate student of education, when I started sculpturing. At Maruniya, an art shop near my university, Mrs.Noriko Yamaguchi taught me drawing, the late Mr.Saburo Aono taught me how to use plaster for modeling and Mrs.Eiko Usami, keeping this shop, watched over my steps. Japanese-style painter, Mr. Allan West kept his studio in front of my university, and I went to see him many times. I learned from him how to live as an artist. In those days, there was a coffe shop in front of my university, I stayed there longer than at my university. Mrs.Goto and her family treated me warmly. Mr.Shibato, who named my first work "Umizuki", and Mr.Saka gave me both material and mental assistance.
The first person I have to thank is the late Mr.Shunichi Sato, SATO SEKIZAI Co.,Ltd. It's he who found my talent and prepared a marble, a studio and a place for exhibition for me. Without him, I don't exist as a sculptor. Mr.Toshiharu Sato, the president of SATO SEKIZAI Co.,Ltd, and Mr.Nakajima, the factory manager, support me until now. I owe it to them that I can make my work with marble in Japan.
My mother Tokiko never thought I was away from Japan for 4 years, because I was supposed to stay in Italy only for 3 months for my sculpturing. Uncle Kazuo and aunt Ritsuko, my foster parents in my infancy, were worried about me in Macedonia, so I couldn't forget to make telephone calls to them.
Warm supports from such people make possible my sculpturing activity. And also I owe it to those who love my works. Even though I still have to learn about sculpturing, I want to share my talent with as many people as possible through my works. One of the highest praises I ever received is "Thank God for the rare talent He gave you." from Mrs.Suely Yamamoto, Ayrton Senna Foundation. And I heard Mrs.Viviane Senna would show my work to Mrs.Neyde Senna, mother of Ayrton Senna, then I felt true mission of my work accomplished.
Thank all the people for their cooperation. BGM "Aria on G line"J.S.Bach is produced by flutist Mr.Yu Nakajima. He gave me his willing consent to my using it in my home page. Slide shows, I made most energetically, were made by "SUZUKA", a program for multi-page presentations, and Mr.Uzo, the author of "SUZUKA", guided me kindly. The other programs, "POWERBULLET","FFFTP","PIXIA"...etc. Thank all the authors for their permission for using freely.
Lastly, thank you all for your visiting my home page. I will take up my other works and my essay as opportunity permits. See you, soon!
sculptor Ryota Koshika