As many of you know, San Antonio sculptor / performer Jimmy Kuehnle has been in Japan since August working on a Fulbright project. He recently posted photos of his first two exhibits, at the Kyoto Museum (Artjam 2007) and the Aichi Geidai Gallery in the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. Continuing a body of work he started in San Antonio, Kuehnle fabricated huge, inflatable sculptures, which also served as interactive / performance pieces.
Mr. Bubble Head, which Kuehnle made for Artjam, is a huge orange inflatable sculpture with ropes criss-crossing inside. Kuehnle spend much of the opening inside the sculpture tugging on the ropes as people walked by, creating an impression of organic response to the viewers’ presence. Museum visitors were also allowed inside the sculpture at various points, turning it into an interactive sculpture.
His piece at the Aichi Geidai Gallery, called Big Blob, was another inflatable sculpture made of the same orange material. This piece, however, was a suit which Kuehnle could walk around in “like a large leviathan.” After his performance in this enormous suit, Kuehnle invited audience members to try it on — but it seems a bit more unwieldy than those ridiculous sumo suits.