Award-winning Japanese artist Mamoru Suzuki, who has collected more than 400 birds’ nests from around the world, will hold an exhibition between Sept. 5 and Sept. 28 in New York to share what he considers to be nature’s architectural wonders.
The exhibition coincides with the city marking the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The event, at the Annex gallery, will be Suzuki’s first overseas exhibition. It will feature 31 original nests supported by wooden stands, along with 30 of Suzuki’s paintings of birds and nests.
“New York is the center of modern art. I think American people are more appreciative and open to new forms of art,” Suzuki said. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he and his friends in New York were even more convinced the exhibition should be held there.
“I want to let the people of New York feel the hope of new life by showing them that life exists even in a place as small as a nest,” he said. “Birds build their nests by adapting to the environment. That, you see, is the power and diversity of life.
“Birds build a new nest every time they lay eggs,” 49-year-old Suzuki said. “Unlike humans, who worry about trends and the ability to sell the things they make, birds build nests for the pure purpose of bringing up their young and protecting them from enemies.”
Nests are abandoned within a few months of the young birds leaving and most are soon lost to the elements, the artist said.
A nature-lover who left Tokyo to live on Mount Basara on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture 16 years ago, Suzuki goes into the woods every year as winter nears to look for abandoned nests.
“Each bird behaves differently, following its instincts in building its nest. Nests thus come in different shapes, sizes, colors and materials. While some birds construct simple dishlike nests, others build nests with fine finishing touches,” he said.
Suzuki’s collection includes more than 160 different kinds of nests, ranging from those of the hummingbird, with a diameter of only 2 cm, to a gigantic swan’s nest, with a diameter of 1 meter. His unique collection also includes a nest shaped like a flask about 60 cm long.
Suzuki has found nests in Japan and overseas, and has also received others from collectors in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe, making his trove truly international.
Suzuki began exhibiting his collection in 1998 and has displayed these natural wonders to people across Japan, including in Tokyo, Osaka, Shikoku and Kyushu.
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