3 Feb 2013

Dogū. Ancient Aliens

Shakōki-dogū 1000–400 BCE. Tokyo National Museum Japan

One has to enjoy a good story. Si non è vero è ben trovato. I can't help but love the ancient aliens theory. At best Eric von Daniken has cracked wide open the meaning behind some of the world's greatest mysteries. Huh. At worst created some of the most entertaining books and television series I have had the laugh out loud pleasure of enjoying. Not unlike cryptozoology, the ancient aliens ideas are great fun and very infectious. I love they way Daniken ties so many different and seemingly random historical elements together and weaves an epic story of forgotten interaction. My favourite artifact from the theory would easily be the Dogū. Dating from 14,000–400 BC the Dogū are found right across Japan. They are found in many different forms, from animal to human. The heavily stylised designs have been interpreted in as many and diverse ways as the forms themselves. Like many seemingly normal artifacts it is apparent to Daniken and fans like myself that the only obvious reason for these liknesses is alien contact with prehistoric man.

Dogū. Jomon period 14,000-400 BC.
Unearthed at the Ebisuda dig in Tajiri by Dr Barry John.

 I started mine with a reasonably common Dogū silhouette. Once the general figure was formed I began to add small details. I didn't want them too fine as I wanted to achieve a look of carved stone. I then added cuffs to give the appearance of a suit, boots and a type of head dress. The next step was easily the hardest. I wanted my Dogū to be unmistakeably an ancient alien but at the same time the idea of early man interpreting this mysterious figure had to be apparent. I added a box to the back of the suit and added shoulder straps, as backpacks would be a recognisable device and hinted at some type of powerful force contained by way of a sun carving and thrust coming from the bottom. I tried different types of mask or breathing apparatus and again settled with a mixture of commonly Dogū style eyes with simplified filter type mask.
I've worked on this one for a while now between larger projects and I think this was the best way to go. I've been able to try different details and find a balance of archaic interpretation, traditional sculpture and Danikenian lore.
I have some exciting news coming up on my Dogū so stay tuned. I'll keep you posted.

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