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Born to a Japanese father and an American mother, sculptor Isamu Noguchi felt he was caught between two worlds. Okame illustrates his interest in Japanese culture and natural materials. The cast-iron sculpture, with its rusticated surface texture and golden brown color, takes on the appearance of tree bark or natural stone--perhaps a stone from a Japanese Zen garden. ... This piece, then, whose title Okame also means "looking on by an outsider," is Noguchi's response to the use of the atomic bomb in World War II and his attempt to reconcile the roles that his Japanese and American cultures played in that war.
from Snite Museum of Art, Selected Works: Snite Museum of Art (Notre Dame, 2005)