Artist's Statement

Jun Ishikura

Blacksmith is an occupation to make tools, parts of building, artworks and so on by forging metal especially iron. The iron has greatly contributed to development of mankind, and the culture of iron supported a base of the history, civilization and the culture.

After the Industrial Revolution, various works have been mechanized and automated, and the many kinds of conventional works of people will decrease by evolution of the AI anytime soon. And now the population of blacksmith that supported the culture of iron has decreased year by year.

Meanwhile, this project chases how cultures and an occupations survive through the blacksmiths in a society. For seven years, I have visited more than 150 workshops and 9 schools in 19 countries and I have met more than 200 blacksmiths. I found some similarities and differences among areas, generations, and categories. I would like to research more blacksmiths in various areas.

I am glad to see the social change by the technical evolution to have a good living environment. However, if we lose splendid things based on tradition, it is dreary.

I keep observing this culture and expressing it with photographs.

I would like to show this project in many ways. Print on photo papers, print on metal (stainless steel, iron, etc.), making some ordinary and some metal books. Print size will be from A4 to A2 sizing.