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Fukuoka City Public Art—Seaside Momochi Area

The waterfront development district Seaside Momochi is home to Fukuoka Tower, Fukuoka PayPay Dome, the city’s museum, public library, a shopping mall and other attractive facilities. A forest of high-rise office and condominium buildings creates a futuristic and stylish streetscape, and the presence of artworks scattered around the area makes the whole area look like a museum. Enjoy exploring the art along with the unique scenery.

KIYOMIZU Kyubei “Kobayo”

Let’s start from a large monument with an impressive red, bright and powerful form, located near the Fukuoka Tower, the symbol of the Momochi area. With the sea close by, one might guess that it is spreading its arms wide towards Hakata Bay, but what is the truth? The artist is a renowned sculptor and potter who was originally the seventh generation head of the Kiyomizu family of Kyoto ware kilns. This work, which is both powerful yet soft as if holding an air like the pottery, won the 10th Annual Fukuoka Urban Beautification Award in 1996.

The site is one of the best instagrammable locations if shot with the Fukuoka Tower.

RKB Broadcasting Building
2-3-8, Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City

KATO Akio “Mori-no-Uta (Poem of Forest)”

People are familiar with owls as a symbol of wisdom. A sculpture of such an owl can be seen at the Fukuoka City Public Library, a treasure house of wisdom. The artist is a sculptor from Seto City, Aichi Prefecture. The work is said to depict child owls full of dreams and hopes for the future, and a parent owl warmly watching over and nurturing them.

Fukuoka City Public Library
3-7-1, Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City

Emile-Antoine BOURDELLE “L’Eloquence” “La Force” “La Victoire” & “La Liberté”

Prior to its opening in 1990, the Fukuoka City Museum was also used as the theme pavilion for the Asian-Pacific Exposition–Fukuoka 1989. Between the main gate and the museum is a large pond, which gives it a sense of scale. The four bronze statues are as imposing as the place itself. The giants, 3.75 metres high and weighing 1 tonne, were cast between 1918 and 1922 by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, one of the masters of modern French sculpture. They were purchased by Fukuoka City from Musée Bourdelle in Paris to commemorate the city’s 100th anniversary.

From the left, male statues entitled “L’Eloquence” and “La Force” followed by female ones “La Victoire” and “La Liberté ”

Each of the four statues speaks eloquently of its name by what it holds in its hand and by the expression on its face. Take the time to look at them to compare.

Fukuoka City Museum
3-1-1, Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City

Shin Myeong-eun “Poodle”

When you walk down the area, a pink poodle suddenly appears. Its rounded form looks like a large piece of balloon art. The artist, Shin Myeong-eun, is a contemporary artist from South Korea who consistently presents works on the theme of ‘dogs’, including colourful paintings and sculptures with dog silhouette motifs, walkies performances with dog toys and travel photos of cities around the world using stuffed dogs. The fact that the works have a smooth, inorganic surface with no facial expression, yet give the impression of being soft and emotional, is perhaps due to the artist’s deep love for dogs. It is tempting to pet it, but please note that touching is prohibited.

Despite its simple structure of rounded three-dimensional objects stacked on each other, it is a poodle from every angle. Enjoy it from different angles, from close up or a distance, from the side or behind.

Aero Gallery DUNE open space
1-7 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City

Jean-François=Brun “Night Scene”

The stairs behind the “Poodle” lead up to a long, narrow square, in the centre of which is a square-shaped monument that blends in with the surrounding landscape of buildings. The work, by an artist from Paris, is translucent and beautifully allows light to pass through. Try to visit in the evening if you can. At night, it is lit from within, creating a fantastic sight.

Aero Gallery DUNE
1-7 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City

Choi Jae-eun “Nostalgia of Circulation”

If you continue westwards through the “Night Scene,” you will now come to a monument of an azure disc. The artist, Choi Jae-eun from Seoul, became fascinated with ikebana after arriving in Japan in 1972, where she studied under Hiroshi Teshigahara, the third head of the Sogetsu School of flower arrangement, and learnt the concepts of space and cosmology that go beyond just arranging flowers in an ikebana bowl.

Depending on the angle of view, as in the photo, the disks may appear to be three or two, but in fact there are four disks that make up the work. The artist’s view of the world, which goes beyond the concept of space, can be felt in her work.

Aero Gallery DUNE
1-7 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City

Barry Flanagan “Mirror Nijinski”

This is a sculpture of a hare that seems to be leaping lightly through the blue sky,  One of a series of works by a leading contemporary British sculptor on the theme of ‘hares’. The name ‘Nijinsky’ is taken from the name of a famous Russian ballet dancer. Capturing the moment of a wild hare hopping, the work is both energetic and humorous. In addition to the rabbit in this photo, there is another rabbit around the Fureaibashi Bridge. A rabbit-themed work by the same artist is also installed at the entrance to the Fukuoka Art Museum, so if you have the chance, be sure to visit there too.

Fureaibashi Bridge
1-5-7 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City

Niki de Saint Phalle “Grand Oiseau Amoureux”

The vivid colours look great against the blue sky. The Paris-born artist, one of the leading contemporary French artists, is popular for her quirky and unique style, and her works have been installed in squares around the world. This sculpture is said to be a combination of Horus, the ancient Egyptian sky god and sun god whose head is an eagle and body is human, and Cupid, the god of love. With its wings spread wide, is it receiving love from the sky, or is it releasing love into the sky? It stimulates imagination.

It is installed in Jigyo Chuo Park, opposite to Fukuoka PayPay Dome. If you go around to the back, you can enjoy the view with the dome as well.

Jigyo Chuo Park
1-9 Jigyohama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City

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Fukuoka City Public Art—Hakata &Tenjin Areas

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