Thursday, October 8, 2015

Common Chimpanzee

In April I was contacted by Andrew Zuckerman about participating in a group exhibit he was curating for a gallery in NYC called Chamber.  He was looking for something large-scale and life-size so eventually we decided on a life-size chimpanzee.  Of course this was a much more ambitious project than anything I'd ever taken on before so I was not at all sure I was even capable of doing it, but I've always wanted to try something larger because of the level of detail and fidelity it would allow me to achieve.  It took me three months of full-time work and it would never have been possible without the help of my wife Emma who took on extra work around the farm and basically kept me alive while I was working on this project.  
The piece is on display from now until January as part of Chamber Collection #2 

Photo by Andrew Zuckerman


  1. WOW!!! Kiyoshi, that is amazing!!! I would love to learn about your process. How in the world did you make a armature for it? Just brilliant!!

  2. Hi Laura, Thank you so much! I added a link to a time lapse video of the making of the chimp from start to finish. That might give you some information. I really had no idea how to make an armature for something this big so I just twisted a bunch of 12 gauge steel wires together until I thought it was strong enough (7-12 wires depending on the part of the body). Even then it is still too flexible really. When you pick him up his arms and legs kind of dangle around. I think I need to learn how to weld if I'm going to make another piece this size!