Vox Petra

I long to hear the voice of the stone
Yet sparing of word is Petra
Solid and imposing from her beginning
Drawing me to her side
Chisel in hand, I seek greater proximity
Reaching out to touch her heart
And then perhaps to catch the sound of her voice

―Atsuya Tominaga

Tominaga has coined the term “ninguen” for the shapes he carves in his quest for the voice of the stone. That term alludes simultaneously to the Japanese word for “people” and to the Portuguese word for “nobody.” “The more I seek the human element,” Tominaga suggests, “the more distant the stone becomes.” That paradox characterizes the sculptor’s assuiduous efforts to capture the sound of the stonebound voice.