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July 2007

Sculpting success

Call her an international artist. Izumi Ryono '04, '07 MFA has received the International Sculpture Center's Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.

Ryono, who is from Japan, was one of 21 winners selected from a field of 339 student nominees from more than 140 universities, colleges and art school sculpture programs from the United States and abroad.

Her winning work is titled "I Think I Should Have Been Born as a Boy." It will be displayed from Oct. 6 to April 27 at Grounds for Sculpture, an outdoor park and museum in Hamilton, N.J., and will be featured in the October issue of Sculpture magazine.

Izumi Ryono's "I Think I Should Have Been Born as a Boy"

Izumi Ryono's "I Think I Should Have Been Born as a Boy"

In her MFA thesis, titled "Grotesque Beauty," she explained the influences behind her work as the exploration of "the duality of beauty and the grotesque coexisting simultaneously within a singular sculptural form … I seek to make work that paradoxically seduces the viewer with the promise of beauty even as it repels in its cultivation of the unnatural and the perverse — a sculptural elegance that takes its inspiration from the aversive feelings inspired by biological malformation. My work holds beauty and grotesqueness in uneasy balance."

She cites children's toys, cyborgs, television, tabloid media and Japanese animation as some of the main inspirations for her sculptures whose shapes "evoke the sensuality and seductiveness of the human body."

The International Sculpture Center, based in New Jersey and Washington D.C., is the world's leading international organization devoted to the creation and understanding of sculpture.

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