“International Iron Sculpture Symposium”

Higashida Blast Furnace Memorial Park

The premise of this open-air sculpture exhibition and symposium, held on the site of a defunct foundry in southern Japan, was to take “a new look at iron as a material for artistic expression.” The site—the old Yahata Ironworks of Shin-Nippon Steel—was a particularly appropriate one for an event celebrating and promoting the renewal of iron, for the city of Kitakyushu has been hard hit by the severe decline in iron and steel production here over the last decade. (A popular media cliché for the current economic depression is “iron cold.”) Today, the abandoned iron foundry and steel mill and its surrounding terrain is a park, with wild birds and well-tended lawns and shrubbery.

The exhibition consisted of new works by artists from the local area, other regions of Japan, and Great Britain who are known especially for their use of iron. Saburo Muraoka created an environmental piece called Iron

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