CM: Lafcadio Hearn for Panayiotis Lambrinidis is the paradigm of the European who fell in love with the Far East, and in this respect he identifies with him. His open-mindedness is summed as allowing this love of a Western man for the East develop. Wishing to convey this love in sculpture, Lambrinidis fashioned Lafcadio with his Japanese wife Setsu Koizumi, as they appear in the well-known wedding photograph captured by Rihei Tomishige (1837-1922) in 1892. And although the picture captures Lafcadio standing upright dressed in a suit placing his left arm on a flower stand and Setsu seated dressed in a kimono, the sculpture presents him lovingly offering her a flower. Such compositional solution serves the of erotic connotation that interests Lambrinidis. The hands of Setsu form a female bosom that receives male fertilization. This is a love affair , where the fruit is Lafcadio's intellectual work. It's like an alchemy of two cultures.
Obviously Lambrinidis wished not to imitate the picture, but rather to convey its essence nowadays. For this reason he indulged in the timely modernization of endowing the composition with color. Thus, he presents Lafcadio with a light-coloured suit and Setsu in keeping with the classic Japanese tradition - lips painted black, shaven eyebrows, skin painted white and elaborate hairdo. Both the faces and the attitudes of these people have a doll-like quality about them and emit the sense of a game. Lambrinidis explored the relationship of contemporary art with the world of puppets as non-art. Thus, the significance of the symbolic union of Lafcadio with Setsu is modernized with playful grace, but also with respect to the old Japanese tradition. In closing, it is worth noting that the present work is the first sculpture of polychrome metal that the artist presents to the public.
[Megakles Rogakos 05/2009]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES The Open Mind of Lafcadio Hearn 2009 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens