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waterfall by tokujin yoshioka

Waterfall by Tokujin Yoshioka is currently on display at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation until 15 December. Don’t miss the chance to see one of the world’s most inspired artists whilst his work is in Australia.

Tokujin Yoshioka, Waterfall, 2011. Commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. 
The Japanese concept of Shinrabansho – the whole of the universe, the whole of creative creation – has no direct translation in English. Yet when you witness Waterfall by Tokujin Yoshioka at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, you come one step closer to understanding the concept. 
Waterfall is not a representation of a waterfall. It is a gallery space transformed into a giant sanctuary. Yoshioka’s Waterfall is a startling installation that inspires a naïve wanderlust. The room is painted all white and is filled with varying piles of transparent straws. The straws which relfect the light in a luminous show have been stacked, piled and twisted by the artist on their axis to fill the space at varying heights. 
Tokujin Yoshioka, Waterfall, 2011. Commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. 
“I have always wanted to create something very new,” says of the design practice he has fostered since he was a child. 
“I decided to become a designer at the age of six. I always liked drawing as a child and it was my father who told me that being a designer was an occupation. I wasn’t good at articulating my ideas at that stage, but I started to realise that it is possible to communicate with many people by means of design,” says Yoshioka. 
Tokujin Yoshioka, Waterfall, 2011. Commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. 
“Nowadays we are shifting from material world to spiritual world; we are appreciating more things that are more spiritual than physical; it’s the same for design world. 
“On holidays you won’t go and buy something shopping, you will use your quality time for experiencing something that’s very positive or good for your well being. So I think that’s maybe why my installation is appreciated because, it’s not just this object you buy, but rather you come to the installation and you gain some kind of experience that you associate with your memory,” Yoshioka says.
With Waterfall it is evident how Yoshioka’s longstanding interests in both nature and materials have informed his art practice. Ice, water, glass and plastic are just a few of luscious, light-reflecting materials he has chosen for past installations. 
Tokujin Yoshioka, Waterfall, 2011. Commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. 
Yoshioka says he spends hours playing with materials in order to discover the surprises they hold for him. 
“I like light as a material,” he explains. “Like a crystal– it is just transparent without light, but as soon as it is hit by light, the light it reveals the brilliance of the crystal. When I design something I go through many experiements and discoveries before reaching completion. I start as a beginner and end up as a master by testing the design in various condtions, including some bad conditions." 
Yoshioka says his whole practice stems from his interest in nature.

“Nature never gives us the same face twice, and the beauty of nature comes from that aspect. Many of my works adopt this principle of nature."

Waterfall is on display Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation located at 16 Goodhope Street in Paddington until 15 December.
All photography by Paul Green.