Yamagata, 12 March 1926 - Milan, 15 October 2016
Azuma was born in 1926 in Yamagata, Japan. Fundamental to his subsequent work as a sculptor is direct familiarity with bronze casting. A knowledge of the material and processes evident in the creation of its forms, which is not to be considered a banal practical trick, but the demonstration of a technical rigor, of an awareness of the material that makes art a discipline.
In his youth he enlisted in the Imperial Navy, then followed the artistic path, first with a diploma from the National University of Tokyo, and later, in Italy, from 1956 with the attendance of the Brera Academy.
In the Braidensian classrooms he follows the lessons of Marino Marini already admired, along with other exponents of Italian sculpture, when he was still in Japan.
The criticism of Azuma's work always starts from a definition of us Westerners forcedly summary and fairly stereotyped of Eastern philosophy made up of opposites, elimination and subtraction; each of these judgments and parallels correspond to truth, but I believe we can investigate a certain Orientalism as well as in his poems and sculptures, also in his relationship with Marino Marini of which he was personal assistant from 1979 and member of the Scientific Committee of the Fondazione Marino Marini since 1983 to 2001. I believe that in this relationship of artistic inspiration and admiration we can glimpse part of that typically Japanese feeling of absolute devotion to the elderly, above all to the masters, towards whom one will be eternally in debt.
During the nineties Azuma received several teaching assignments and many awards both at home and in Italy.
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