Autio was commissioned to do this tile mural in late 1997. Most of the designing was done on his Macintosh. Nearly all of it was completed during 1998 and installed recently in the instructional centers of a new building in Takadanobaba in Tokyo, home of the Nippon Beauty Academy. Students at the Nippon Beauty Academy are from all parts of Asia, and the world.
The director and CEO who commissioned the work is Takuji Amikura, head of the organization. Kazuo Nakamoto, director of the design program, coordinated installation and was liason on the project.
The tile mural is based on the ACANTHUS flower theme, which is the characteristic spiral form found on Greek Capitols and in Japan with a variety of symbolic meanings suggesting fertility, knowledge and life. Autio also examined the acanthus motif in Norwegian wood carving and in ancient stone carvings of the Mayans in Central America. The spiral is a design motif found in many cultures.
The Acanthus mural is also framed in relief tiles that form the sides, top and bottom borders. The mural also suggests movement: Life is movement in all its living forms, as well as in the swirling winds and waters of nature, and the eternal travels of the stars, planets, the universe as we understand it.
One can identify the torque of swirling figures and the attendant horse floating as if in space--in spiraling movement. It suggests symbolically the tendrils of the Acanthus plant--and hence the title--Acanthus.
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