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Traveling to Tokyo with Patrick Roger

The French sculptor is sharing his self-made cabinet of curiosities in Voyages Voyage(r), a retrospective exhibition now open at 21-21 Design Sight in the Japanese capital

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Text by Rab Messina
Photography by Nacása & Partners Inc.

Patrick Roger might be well known for his work shaping chocolate, but in Voyages Voyage(r) the French sculptor travels through a different set of materials. From aluminium to bronze, concrete, marble and diamond, the artist puts forth in Tokyo’s 21-21 Design Sight a set of energetically disparate pieces created in the past 20 years.

The Japanese art space becomes his self-made cabinet of curiosities, with more than 40 pieces that pay no mind to a common format nor theme, from shellfish to erotic protuberances —joined only by the common denominator of their creator and his willingness to question the medium. “To him, sculpture is a way to provoque, to denounce, even to condemn,” explained the 21-21 team. “Sculpture becomes a way to present and ask visitors about our actions and contradictions. Not to judge, though, but to evaluate our actions and reactions.”

On the sidelines of this exhibition are a set of poetic travelogues that help describe the mindset that binds the pieces on display. Here is a sample, featuring two of our favourites, Curiositas and Homard, Mon Bel Homard!

CURIOSITAS
THIS IS A CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. A COLLECTION.
AN ACCUMULATION OF WORKS

WHICH ARE DISTINCT
YET ORIGINATE FROM ONE MIND
AND ONE MOTION. MULTIFORM SCULPTURES
EXPOSED HERE ON A SINGLE LINE.

THESE OBJECTS HAVE NO OTHER

PURPOSE THAN TO INSPIRE
AWE AND QUESTION US. CAT, PEBBLE, OWL,

EGG OR BREAST, GEISHAS AND LAETITIAS, MINI RAYS,
STRATIFICATIONS… A HODGE-PODGE ASSORTMENT,
THE ATELIER OF A FREE-THINKING SCULPTOR,

THE INVENTORY OF PATRICK ROGER

– A CHOCOLATIER-SCULPTOR,

OR A SCULPTOR-CHOCOLATIER!

HOMARD, MON BEL HOMARD!
A DECAPOD CRUSTACEAN. A TEN-LEGGED ANIMAL
ENSCONCED IN A PROTECTIVE CARAPACE.

HISTORY. PREHISTORY.

WHAT A CURIOUS SIGHT, THIS CREATURE OBSERVING
US WITH ITS ANTENNAE, AS IF FROM ANOTHER WORLD.
WHEN WE LOOK AT NATURE, IT IS HARD TO SAY WHICH IS MORE EXTRAORDINARY
– ANIMALS OR HUMANS. THIS SHELLFISH MAKES YOU WONDER.
THERE IS NO NEED TO LOOK ELSEWHERE.
FOR PATRICK ROGER, THE BIZARRE IS RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES.

BY SCULPTING LIVING BEINGS, IS IT POSSIBLE TO RESTORE LIFE?

OR AT LEAST QUESTION IT.

Voyages Voyage(r) is on display until July 2

patrick roger
patrick roger
patrick roger
patrick roger
patrick roger
patrick roger
patrick roger
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