A Universal Order

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A Universal Order

David Umemoto


What drove you to explore casting as a technique for creating?
I like to work with multiples. My molds being modular, I can reassemble them in different ways, allowing me to produce series of castings that are all different using the same mold parts. I also just like casting stuff ! Concrete, metal, plaster, resin, whatever !

You talk about fragmented modules which can be assembled to establish new forms and narratives, can a parallel here be drawn with the two dimensional collage?
I have the exact same approach in my 2D works and in my 3D works. I play with repetitive interchangeable pieces.

Scale plays a big role in how we perceive within your sculptures to such an extent that there identity shifts from that of a totem from afar to almost appear as inhabited spaces when zoomed in. How does this influence the way the modules are created?
I guess in general, I don’t have that in mind when I create them. Except when I use specific elements like stairs or eyes, which immediately give a scale to the object.

To what extent has De Chirico and his metaphysical reading of the city driven your interest in reading into our natural environment in a different way?
I’m not an expert of Chirico, I just like the general feeling of the mystic universe he creates. I’m not pretending I understand his work, I just try to get inspired by  the emotions I get when I look at his work

Whilst your two dimensional works feature colour, your sculptures are left bare, why so?
I just really like the raw natural texture of the concrete. It creates such great light and shadows effects.

How important is the image of the object in relation to the object itself?
I always first try to create standalone objects that speak for themselves. Then I like to place them in different contexts and frame them in particular ways.



Creative and technical approach

His artistic approach is highly regulated, codified and rigorous. Each one of his creations seamlessly fits into a conceptual and constructive system that has been thoroughly elaborated. In this system, each work of art is decomposed into modular sections that can then be reorganized and reused to create new works. Every “module” of all the works can be interconnected physically or conceptually. Sometimes the creations take shape by spontaneous generation, and other times by transformational succession. By a series of dissections, transformations, repetitions, aggregations, they give birth to other works. In this organic process, each work although unique finds itself composed in whole or in part by elements of previous or subsequent works. Thus, the use of techniques for creating “multiples” (such as printmaking, casting or moulding) to create unique pieces is essential to his approach.


This scalable modular building system is based on the theory that there is a universal order. Molecules, cycles, ecosystems, the order is the norm and chaos an accident. Everything is connected, organized and structured; it is only a matter of place, time and scale. Thus, we can speak of a cellular system rather than modular elements that can not only be interchanged but also transformed. They obey rules in a rigid frame but with an organic development. His work is therefore an exploration of the patterns and codes, sometimes obvious, sometimes obscure, that govern our environment.

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David holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the School of Architecture of Université Laval. Over the past 15 years, he has worked on many international projects spanning the fields of Art, Design and Architecture. In 2010 he spent a year in Asia to develop and experiment woodworking, engraving, sculpture and metal casting techniques.



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