brass, wood panels, fruit acid,
185 × 600 x 3cm
Installation view at SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
Photo: Nobutada Omote
Vanitas (2015) by Wada is a 6-meter brass sculpture. For this work, the artist placed two panels at an acute angle, and threw various fruits into the gap between the brass plates. Over time, the fruit’s acidity eroded the surface of the brass, and a patina was formed from the trace of its movement. The title Vanitas directly references the historical category of symbolic works associated with still life paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries, created by Flemish and Dutch painters. In this tradition, rotten fruits are metaphoric portrayals of corporeal death, evoking vanity and the transient nature of life. The work evolved from Wada’s earlier Still Life series (2006–ongoing) and forms an abstract composition and somewhat apocalyptic worldview, as the organic trajectory of the work signals an inevitable absence and decay.