On View   Original Collection


In working stone, the primary gesture, the original discovery, the first revelation, can never be repeated or imitated. It is the stroke that breaks and is immutable. No copy or reproduction can compare. “Unmei” means fate or destiny. There is a sequence to stone working. First, the rear half is removed with drill holes and wedges. Afterward comes the carving, splitting with the “gennō,” the sledge hammer used for knocking off large hunks—here directed to a cleavage down the center from both sides of which the stone is removed. This is the fastest, instantaneous, and most satisfactory carving where no second thoughts are possible. I had watched them make wedge stones for masonry walls this way.
Original Noguchi Collection
Quotations by Isamu Noguchi from The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987), unless otherwise noted.