Aoki Noe Iron, airy-fairy  

It's a fiery process this "airy-fairy" art making. Aoki Noe uses an oxyacetylene torch to cut flat sheet steel into strips which she then welds into simple, linear three-dimensional forms. She draws with steel, creating form and space in delicate lattices giving an apparent lightness to her heavy steel sculptures.

Her work is repetitious -- both in the forms she creates and in the process of creation. Her work over the past ten years has centered around a few simple forms that she uses over and over in installations. Cones, cylinders, domes and a seed pod-like form -- simple shapes line-drawn in steel are used in multiples to fill rooms. Cutting the many ribbons of steel to the exact size required for each piece is a process she finds soothing because of its repetitious nature.

On display are six large steel constructions resembling the skeletal frames for boats or tents. Many are so large that they fill an entire room of the gallery.

When you stroll through her airy forests, drawn of melted metal lines, you notice the rugged edges of the steel from the oxyacetylene cut. These raw edges give each piece an individual hand-cut irregular finish.

It's a pleasant 10 minute walk down from Meguro station, along the footpath next to the river, to the Civic Center complex of which the Art Museum is part. The artist is working in a studio space at the Museum most afternoons cutting and welding steel. In this studio area, besides meeting Aoki Noe and observing art being made, you can also see maquettes (small models) for her larger sculptures. There are also a number of her etchings and prints on the walls, more of which can be seen, in a parallel exhibition at Gallery Ikeda-Bijutsu, Ginza until Dec 22.

Meguro Museum of Art Meguro 2-4-36 Tel: 03. 3714.1201 Open: 10:00 - 18:00 (Closed Mondays) Adults Y500 Children Y200 through December 27