Okuda’s latest project has seen him install the world’s northernmost sculpture, in the city of Yakutsk, Russia.
Yakutsk, has an average temperature of −8.8 °C , and is the second coldest city with more than 100,000 inhabitants in the world after Norilsk, although Yakutsk experiences colder temperatures in the winter. Yakutsk is also the largest city located in continuous permafrost and one of the largest that cannot be reached by road.
The chilly project was curated by the National Art Museum of the Republic of Sakha, and was installed on the embankment of Sajsary Lake in Yakutsk, complementing the urban improvement program.
The artwork made as part of the public art program 5th International Contemporary Art Biennale in Yakutsk BY-18, curated by ARTMOSSPHERE union, the creators of the eponymous Street Art Wave Biennale in Moscow. This is the 8 public art object that finishes the program of the Yakut Biennale of Contemporary Art.
The sculpture is an impressive 4 meters large and is cast from steel with sharp spikes. Okuda brings his trademark style of geometric structures, sharp contours and multi-colour patterns that dilute the grey monotony of urban life, and brings a bright and fresh imagery. The design really pops out against the white snow background.
The sculpture is inspired by Yakut mythology, the Spanish artist turned to the topic of spirituality, reflecting on the fact that the nature of modern man hides the original instincts. Creating a project for the capital of Yakutia, where the power of the elements is strong, he decided to portray the primitive Man without the shackles of civilisation, acting as a whole and free person.
“The embankment of Sajsary Lake was included in the program of improvement of key public spaces in 40 Russian cities. The main idea is to create a continuous pedestrian, cycling and running route with functional areas around the lake. The territory in front of the Triumph Sports Complex, near which the sculpture is located, will become an active recreation area. There will be streetball courts, a universal platform for performances, which is possible to use as an ice rink poured on the lake, wooden pedestrian walkways and gazebos for sport fishing.
That’s why we chose this place for our object of contemporary art: a bright accent will begin to attract the attention of young people to this place. Unfortunately, today this area with excellent potential is not fused to its full potential.” Irina Alekseeva, chief architect of Yakutsk city.
Okuda’s works can be found in all over the world, such as Moscow, New York, Tokyo, London, Berlin, Paris and now in permafrost of Yakutsk!