Shrine (Hell Gate Keepers), 2021Salvaged oak tree, epoxy resin, acrylic urethane, gravel, steel

Photos: Scott Lynch; Sofie Kjørum Austlid

Inspired by Shinto spiritualism, Moko Fukuyama’s Shrine (Hell Gate Keepers) features a group of monolithic wooden sculptures evoked by the form and function of fishing lures. Shinto, Japan’s indigenous religion, seeks to cultivate a harmonious relationship between humans, “kami” (deities), and the natural world. Shrine (Hell Gate Keepers) also draws upon Fukuyama’s upbringing in Japan and her experience with recreational sport-fishing. The ‘lures,’ carved from logs whose curves, grain and burl inform Fukuyama’s sculptural interventions, pay homage to the Shinto legacy of developing the character inherent within a landscape. As an immersive monument, Shrine (Hell Gate Keepers) presents fish and forests as symbols of natural abundance, susceptible to principles of scarcity. The oak tree used for the sculpture was donated by East Woods School in Oyster Bay, Long Island, repurposed after it was knocked down by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

About the Artist


Moko Fukuyama during LEVEL PLAYING FIELD performance for American Recordings Act I: American Harvest at Queenslab /The Kitchen, 2021

Image by Paula Court, 2021.

Moko Fukuyama is a Japanese artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is driven by the art of storytelling and personal narratives. Through art, she creates open and sympathetic spaces to explore the socioeconomic realities and psychology of everyday life. Fukuyama has received grants, fellowships and commissions from notable art institutions such as Rema Hort Mann Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Foundation For Contemporary Arts, SOHO20, MacDowell, Yaddo, Recess, The Shed, and more. She has collaborated with Yo! Vinyl Richie, Aki Onda, Virginia Overton, Ryan Foerster, Hannah Buonaguro, Sam Moyer, Aidas Bareikis, Meredyth Sparks, Lucky DeBellevue, Peter Bussige, Kevin Davis, Travis Thatcher, Ryan Maguire, Paige Naylor, Woodly Sullender, Connor Owens, Anna Rosen, Benny Merris, Joel Morrison, Maria Chavez, Noah Sparks, Kiki Kudo, Miho Hatori, Chuck Bettis, Aaron Suggs and many more artists. She is a current resident at ISCP (International Studio & Curatorial Program, Brooklyn, New York). She is a 2021 Franconia Sculpture Park Fellow in Shafer, Minnesota. Her most recent project “American Recordings, Act I: American Harvest & Act II: American Frequency” was produced by and presented at The Kitchen, New York in spring 2021.


Instagram: @happy_mountains

Audio Guide

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Audio transcript available upon request.