Installation view of Osamu Mori’s work <em>3MMM –rivalry</em> on display in NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy

Osamu Mori

Photo: courtesy the artist and PARCEL

Osamu Mori
Japan born 1983

Level 2
NGV International
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Carved wood carries with it a sense of the origin of the material, reminding us of the tree it once was. In 3MMM – rivalry, Osamu Mori carves the human body into the organic form of a 120-year-old camphor tree. This age is significant, mirroring the age of the oldest living person, emphasising the ephemerality of human existence. The tree, with its warps, cracks, and imperfections, becomes an integral part of the artwork as if it is reclaiming the human form. Camphor holds a rich history, employed for its aromatic scent as an embalming fluid, a medication and manufacturing chemical. In 3MMM – rivalry, it, it embodies the healing powers inherent in nature.

Osamu Mori combines traditional woodcarving techniques with imagery of popular icons like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley to create sculptures which reflect the chaotic world we live in today. Mori earnt a master’s degree in sculpture from Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA) in 2009. Mori’s first solo show Can’t Help Falling in Love, 2010, featured works including Leda and the swan, a sculpture inspired by the Greek myth. In his most recent solo exhibition Ba De Ya, 2020, Mori exhibited his largest ever wood sculpture, Jamboree – EP.

Purchased with funds donated by Dr. Brett Archer, Tania and Sam Brougham, and Professor AGL Shaw AO Bequest, 2023