Noboru Tsubaki installed a gigantic, bright red leafcutter ant, like an enormous mutant, in the front garden facing the street. The leafcutter ant makes its habitat in the rainforests of Central and South America. You might not imagine, given their frightful appearance, but they are actually agricultural creatures, cutting tree leaves to bring to their nests and grow the fungus that is their diet. Tsubaki has super-sized the ant to look like a giant robot so that we might take a look at refinements in the natural world, diverse beyond the imagination, and at the same time, sound a warning to the ballooning consumerism that has driven agriculture to a crisis, being stricken with the obsession called economic growth today. Tsubaki has been creating colorful, gigantic sculptures of mutant creatures and living organisms since the late 1980s. He famously exhibited a 55 meter long locust balloon affixed to the outside of the Intercontinental Yokohama Grand hotel for the 2001 Yokohama Triennale and warned of overconfidence in globalization. His recent works have often been socially conscious and message-driven reflections on popular insects.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1953. Graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts. Lives and works in Kyoto.