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"Sui Generis" 

S. O. S. PROJECT  (SAVING Of SAKURA)      The New Life Of SAKURA (Cherrywood) Reincarnated as SuiGeneris FUNCTIONAL SCULPTURE


Copyright © 2019 GalaxiStudio/Gregory Smith

General Pertinent Information


Materials: Base and structural members are for the most part Cherry Wood. The Cherry Wood I use is 99% from the natural growth Yamazakura (mountain cherry) variety, which is very, very rare and scarce thus the raw material is extremely limited and the amount available is unequivocally finite.

  •  My stock of raw material Yamazakura (mountain cherry) has been dried, cured and aged naturally for over a decade (14-19 years)

 Shading Material:  Silk, Kouzo, Bark substratum of Keyaki [the Zelkova tree (a variety of Elm)], Hemp, Cotton, Stained Glass and other materials

  •  Silk (derived from antique kimonos)

  •  Kouzo (mulberry bark) either grown and harvested in Japan or requisitioned from Thailand or South America by a kouzo dealer in Kochi, Japan

   Kouzou is the raw material used in the production of traditional Japanese handmade paper

   I discovered, invented and developed a method to deflate the cells of kouzo which in turn renders it thinner thus more transparent, giving it an appearance similar to that of stained glass; this process is extremely labor intensive and time consuming. The method disclosed immediately preceding this is specific, peculiar, limited, restricted and unique to my works only, meaning: I am the only person manipulating kouzou in this fashion for use other than traditional Japanese handmade paper  

  •      Bark substratum of Keyaki (zelkova tree): I am the only person who knows about this material let alone how to harvest it                                  

  •      Hemp is used in the state that is immediately prior to making thread

  •      Cotton is customarily used for shading purposes after dyeing with Kakishibu (a dye extracted from the persimmon which produces a rich brown hue that becomes richer and darker with exposure to light)

  •      Stained Glass is sometimes used when collaborating with glass blowers

I found Cherry Wood especially Yamazakura (mountain cherry) to be exquisite and the aesthetics it provides to be perfect for what I desire to introduce to the world, which is Functional, Multi-Purposed, Multi-Media Sculptural works. And due to the nature of the raw materials I use, there are no 2(two) exactly alike, they are all unique 1 of a kind pieces. I purposefully incorporate and preserve the natural configuration of the wood as much as possible while rendering the piece functional. Those 2 (two) aspects; functional and natural configuration form the fundamental basis for my multi-purposed, multi-media, functional sculptural pieces.

Once the story gets out surrounding the Yamazakura in conjunction with my philosophy connected to it, I’m sure everyone will agree; at least I hope so; that this new field of art I’ve exposed will be subsequently ubiquitously appreciated.

Brief history regarding Cherry trees in Japan: They are basically sacred in Japan for they are central to the culture and signal the onset of spring, the blossoms glimmer in the sun and set the tone for the rest of the year, and as the winds of spring arrive, they fall like snowflakes, delicately and gently floating and swirling about. They are the historical and cultural connection to nature, they signal the ebb and flow of the seasons; the ephemeral beauty of youth and passing of time , they are the embodiment of our time here on earth. Therefore they are not cut down except in 2 (two) instances; 1) if they are in danger of tipping over and creating destruction or if they are in the way, hindering a civil construction project. Those cut for the former reason are either left to rot or as with the latter case, summarily burned. In the latter case, construction companies always burn them because they are unfit for plank board, which can be sold because they customarily don’t possess the minimum 2 meter length required for plank board. I have been fortunate to be in the appropriate place at the right time to save some of them and preserve their spirit and revive them in all of their splendor albeit some reconfiguration to present them in their new life form to those who appreciate the beauty they exude…