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Installing ‘piole Kabuto’

This week Joe installed piole Kabuto on the rooftop of a luxury shopping mall in Himeji Japan. He was assisted by architect Daisuke Tenagaki of Envrand Ltd and engineer Keizo Matsuda and his team from Inter-L Co. Ltd. The sculpture is comprised of more than 1330 individual stainless steel scales, each one unique, designed using Rhino 3D modeling software, cut by waterjet and hammered on our 19th century power hammer.

When you look at the finished sculpture you cannot tell that it needed to be shipped to the site in five separate pieces in order to get up to the roof via the freight elevator. Once on the roof, the sculpture fit together like a puzzle and no seams or fasteners are visible. Piole Himeji receives many visitors at night and it is visible from the observation deck of Himeji Castle, a nearby Unesco World Heritage site.

Joe designed special visitor-controlled lighting with projector optics to cast the shadows of visitors on the white wall behind the sculpture. Visitors can sit on the sculpture and cast sharp colored shadows visible from the castle.

Piole Kabuto was fabricated at Creative Machines by Eric Gustafson, Mathew Petersen and Lucas Conrad with management by Chrissy McMillan.