Masaru Bando explains that, “As an artist, I convey my view of the world to an audience.” In this case, he says, “When I was creating this monument, I was thinking about how the power of nature intertwines with the essence of humanity. … What interested me about the centaur was that it is part human and part animal, horse. The horse aspect of the centaur is strong and powerful, while the human aspect of the centaur is emotional and sensible.”
Why Natural? Bando explains: “I wanted to create a piece that better showed my understanding of human interaction with nature. The centaur allowed for a peaceful combination to occur.”
Audio Tour: Hear Bando tell you about his piece
I studied sculpture at an art university in Tokyo for two years. And then, I studied at Roma Accademia, and the Italian sculptor Emio Greco. I had lived and worked for ten years in Rome. After that, I moved to New York in 1983. Right now, I have a studio in New York City and studio in Hokkaido, Japan.
Masaru Bando, sculptor of Natural says, “The sculpture is 15 feet tall and has been cast in bronze in Pietrasanta, Italy. The base, white carrara marble, is also made in Pietrasanta. The base has four inscriptions, which were selected by William Styron, the American novelist. Natural is a sculpture of a centaur, half human and half horse, an unbalanced figure. The town design of Port Warwick is a simple composition and displays a very flat land. I wanted to contribute and create a three-dimensional space with the unbalanced piece that portrays the monument of a public space. I believe that is a sculptor’s work and duty.”
Bando also explains that when he was creating this piece, “I was thinking about how the power of nature intertwines with the essence of humanity. What interested me about the centaur was that it is part human and part animal. The horse aspect of the centaur is strong and powerful, while the human aspect is emotional and sensible. At the time, I wanted to create a piece that better showed my understanding of human interaction with nature. The centaur allowed for a peaceful combination to occur. My story is that when ordinary people interact, one may not always understand what the other is saying. Almost like two halves trying to combine. The natural understanding is what eventually takes over, and that is what is created.”
Artist: Masaru Bando
Details: Bronze with marble base, 15′ high. Bronze forged at Fonderia Mariani, Pietrasanta, Italy. Installed 2003.
Site: Intersection of Thomas Wolfe and Philip Roth Streets, Port Warwick
About The Artist: MASARU BANDO
Memory of Green, Natural, and Due, the Bando sculptures in Newport News, speak to the artist’s fascination with what it means to be human.
He explains, “I am interested in the human condition and its expression. My work begins with the study of life models, from which I make life-size charcoal drawings and abstract and figurative sculptures in clay, plaster, wood and bronze. Thinking and working with the figure includes the understanding of the internal spiritual and physical essence of the human form as well as the expansion of the form into the surrounding space.”
Bando was born in 1952 in Hokkaido, Japan. At the age of 22, after studying sculpture at Tokyo Zoukei University, he went to Italy, as many sculptors do, to study at the Academia Della’Arte in Rome. Soon, he was exhibiting in Italy and Paris, and in 1979, he won the International Premio Rome Award.
Beginning in the 1980’s, Bando has exhibited extensively and created commissioned works. His sculpture is in the collections of museums, sculpture parks and corporate facilities, primarily in Japan but also in the United States and Korea. He divides his time between Japan and New York City.
Bando’s website: www.masarubando.com