The extraordinary in the art of the Japanese sculptor Katsura Funakoshi (born 1951) is the harmonious link between the great tradition of Japanese wood carving and the achievements of Western modernity. Funakoshi concentrates exclusively on the depiction of human beings; on the one hand representing them close to reality in his carved sculptures of camphor wood (laurel tree) and on the other hand alienating them by means of added attributes or unusual body parts. A speciality of his sculptures are the eyes – the most important feature of any face – which Funakoshi works in marble and inserts in his wooden figures. He creates a game full of tension with the human perception.
Ernst Barlach (1870-1938) belongs to the most important sculptors of German Expressionism. His wooden sculptures always show human beings in an elementary psychological state and are characterized by Barlach’s analysis of the Far-Eastern culture.
In this book the works of these two important wood carvers will be seen, for the first time, face to face. An extraordinary dialogue between the cultures will take place and will demonstrate their remarkable reciprocal influence.