Ocean image by the artist


Thinking of Nature there seems to be the will to create form and to destroy form. The never-ending transformation of life, competing and struggling with each other yet coexisting within the same laws of Nature.

When we walk by the seashore a rock looks durable and reflects its form to the waves breaking upon it. But simultaneously, the waves are eroding it ceaselessly as if trying to transfer their ever-changing motion upon it.

Here is an image overlapped with the persistent repetition of the pattern of life that brings continual movement from birth to death. This is a feature of gathering and dispersing developed by the energy of Nature. It can appear as a very gradual shift, from imperceptible growth to sudden blooming and even to erupting destruction. Watching the phase of these changes, we can contemplate the power of energy accumulated behind them, always wondering about the meaning of all these metamorphoses.

In my work, I have the image of these energies and mysteries that are contained in the integrity of Nature. These can be the motivation for the vital movement in the process of life. But within today’s life and the ever-progressing pace of modern society, we seem to be at a very critical situation. To see the body of the earth like the body of man is corruptible and subject to irrevocable change. The question is can we find the channel to reconcile with Nature.

Masayuki Nagase

Stone relief by Masayuki Nagase


Masayuki Nagase was born in Kyoto, Japan. He began his career as an artist by studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tokyo from 1968–1971. From 1971–1976 he trained in a traditional stone-carving apprenticeship in the granite quarries of Inada in Ibaragi-ken, Japan.  He then participated in a number of international sculpture symposiums in Europe and the countries of Chile, Canada, Japan and the US.

From 1979–1996, Masayuki Nagase established a stone-carving studio in the region of Istria on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. He exhibited and completed a number of public art projects in the country of Slovenia. He also taught at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria and the Kornaria Sculpture Summer Program in Croatia.

In 1997, Nagase moved to the US and established his studio with his partner, Michele Ku in Berkeley, California.  He has been working in the field of public art for the past 20 years. In his public art projects, Nagase explores the expansion of humanity through the intersection of art, nature and community. He has found that the interactive process of public art can be a channel for reclaiming connection and communication for communities. It is through the contact and dialogue between diverse groups that creates a new expression and a deeper understanding for all involved.

Artist hands


2020 Moody Memorial Underpass-Richmond, California
North Berkeley Senior Center-Berkeley, California
2018 Oregon State University, Cascades Campus, Bend, Oregon
2015 San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, California
Manayunk CSO Basin at Venice Island, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2011 Little Sugar Creek Greenway, Charlotte, North Carolina
Walk of the Heroines, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
Resource Access Center, Portland, Oregon
2010 Centralia Community College, Centralia, Washington
2008 Joyce Ellington Branch Library, San Jose, California
Doyle-Hollis Park, Emeryville, California
University of Oregon, College of Education, Eugene, Oregon
2007 Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2006 Alameda Free Library, Alameda, California
2005 University of Arizona, 6th St. Parking & Office Building, Tucson, Arizona
Palo Alto Transit Center, Palo Alto, California
2004 Sacramento River Water Intake, Sacramento, California
2003 Capitol Area East End Complex, Sacramento, California
2002 New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico
University of Northern Colorado, Ross Hall, Greeley, Colorado
2001 East Multnomah County Health, Aging & Disability Building, Gresham, Oregon
1999 Ft. Lewis College, Fine Arts Building, Durango, Colorado
2017 Rapid City Sculpture Project, Rapid City, South Dakota
2005 St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco, California
1999 Colorado’s Ocean Journey Plaza Sculpture, Denver, Colorado
1997 National Peace Site, Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol, California