Made in Carrara, Japan's largest marble monument, Lovers by Minako Yoshino, installed in Toyama

Installed in Toyama, Japan, the country's largest marble monument: called 'Lovers,' it is the work of Minako Yoshino and was made in Carrara, Italy.

The work Lovers created by Japanese sculptor Minako Yoshino, who lives and works in New York and specializes in marble, has been installed in Japan: and her sculpture, 3.40 meters high, is the tallest marble monument ever installed in Japan. The work was placed at the station in Toyama, the artist’s hometown (population 424,000).

The sculpture depicts two lovers, which Yoshino sees as symbols of “connection,” and are inspired by the Shinto deities Izanagi and Izanami, the creator gods who, from the heavens, gave birth to the islands of Japan, then left the celestial realm to move to earth, generating other deities. The inspiring concept of Lovers, the artist explains, is to “connect people and places, people and people, past and future.” The figures of the lovers are rendered as a single entity merging into an embrace. “I would like to work for community development, together with the people of Toyama, through public art,” said the artist before he began to try his hand at his work, which is moreover a variation of a similar work, also titled Lovers (made, however, not entirely of marble, but with a compound of resins and marble dust), that the artist had installed in New York City, at Riverside Park South in Manhattan, in memory of the victims of the September 11 attacks. And in order to make the work a participatory installation, Minako Yoshino asked her “fans” to send her letters inspired by the sculpture.Lovers thus received more than 1,000 love messages from 63 countries and in several languages, which were affixed to the pedestal of the New York version.

To create Lovers, the artist traveled to Carrara, where she personally chose the marbles and where the work was materially created, at the workshops of the Carrara Sculptors’ Cooperative, from a single block of marble extracted from the Gioia quarries. The project, with a total cost of 50 million yen (about 420,000 euros), was co-financed thanks to a crowdfunding project launched on the Japanese platform Ready for with which the artist raised, in three months, the sum of 2.8 million yen (about 23,500 euros), thanks to which it was also possible to fully cover the transportation costs of 1.7 million yen (about 14.300 euros), which included the production of the packaging for the sculpture, ground transportation from the Carrara workshop where the work was made to the port of Marina di Carrara, and then the sea voyage (from Carrara to the port of Toyama with stops in Saudi Arabia and Busan, South Korea), insurance and customs fees.

The work, which arrived in Japan in late February, was installed last March 4 at Toyama Station. After the installation, a team of master craftsmen from Carrara traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun completed Lovers with a polish performed on site. Minako Yoshino thanked all those who supported her in the project and the Carrara Sculptors’ Cooperative for their crucial cooperation, and then expressed her desire to make more Lovers for other cities around the world.

Pictured: handling of Lovers in the workshop of the Carrara Sculptors Cooperative.

Made in Carrara, Japan's largest marble monument, Lovers by Minako Yoshino, installed in Toyama
Made in Carrara, Japan's largest marble monument, Lovers by Minako Yoshino, installed in Toyama

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