"The Warrior, Guerrier, and Samurai were recurrent themes in my work. They expressed the need to purge myself of the horrors of war.” - Shinkichi Tajiri
From the start of his career an important element in Tajiri’s sculpture has been his coming to terms with his war experiences. The Warrior sculptures were based on medieval armor and shamanistic fetishes and they expressed the need to purge himself of the horrors of war. In the fifties Tajiri gradually began to develop a more personal style for his warrior sculptures. His Samurai of 1954, in iron, had the character of an assemblage, a spatial collage. In the years that followed, the volume were to disappear progressively from the objects. The flatter and more pointed elements began to play with their surroundings, as can be seen in a Warrior dating from 1957. The sharp, outward-pointing extremities give the warriors from this period a more aggressive appearance than their predecessors. The evolution of the warrior sculptures proves to pursue a parallel course to the shift in his source of inspiration.
text: Westgeest, Silent dynamism and oneness in multiformity, Waanders Uitgevers, Zwolle, Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst, 1997
photo above: Studio on the rue d'Odessa, Paris 1952
© Guy Bourdin