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  • Bumpei Akaji

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Bumpei Akaji American Artist: b. 1921-2002. Bumpei Akaji was an American sculptor from Hawaii. He was known for welding large copper and brass sculptures which can be seen all over Hawaii as part of Hawaii's Art in Public Places program. Akaji was born in Lawai, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 1921. In 1943 he joined the United States Army and was sent to Italy with the 100th Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He was inspired by the frescoes and mosaics he saw in Florence and Ravenna. After discharge from the army, he stayed in Italy to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and at the Academia de Belle Arti, Brera, on a Fulbright Scholarship. In 1950, he returned to Honolulu, and in 1951, was the first to receive a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Akaji was a member of the Metcalf Chateau, a group of seven Asian-American artists with ties to Honolulu. In 1959 he created his first commission, which displayed at the Ala Moana Center. Akaji learned welding from a local mechanic and is now best known for his large-scale welded copper and brass sculptures, which are both organic and abstract in nature, as typified by Cyparissus. The welded and/or pounded surfaces of his sculptures are often warm and sensual and over time develop a unique patina. Listings wanted.

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