VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Touch carvings
H0236635, H236638, H0236639
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Chosen and explained by Koujiro HIROSE "Touching Generates Feeling". Haruo UCHIYAMA, who is one of the top bird-carvers in Japan, devised touch carving for visually impaired people. They can learn about wild birds’ physiology from touching the carvings. He reinforced the birds with piano wire and metallic sticks to prevent the birds from crumpling through so much contact. Every visitor, not only visually impaired people, are moved when they touch materials which cannot be touched under normal circumstances. It can be a new experience for us to feel the wood of the birds’ frames, and the small details of their wings and legs beneath our fingers.

History of the Object
The thematic exhibition, ‘Touch and Grow Rich: You Can Touch Our Museum!’ was organized in 2006. This exhibition challenged the common perception of museums as places where admission is solely for inspection. Emblematic of the exhibition are the touch carvings.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
wood 
Measurements
Width around 31.5 cm. Height around 18.0 cm. Length around 43.0 cm.  
Creator name
Haruo UCHIYAMA (bird carver) 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Abiko city, Chiba, Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 21th century ~ AD 21th century 
Creation date
21st Century; 2006 
Function
touch carving for visually impaired people 
Acquisition
Collected in 2006 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum of Ethnology, Japan (Minpaku) 
Museum
National Museum of Ethnology 
Credit line
 

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