Acquisitions for the Art Institute’s modern wing are rolling in, the biggest (literally) of which is Charles Ray’s Hinoki. Ray, a Chicago native, in collaboration with a team of Japanese craftsmen, constructed an exact copy of a 31-foot-long piece of driftwood from rare hinoki cypress. (“Exact” is sort of a relative term and speaks in some part to the nature of the project, but it’s however much exactness several years of reconstruction will get you.)
diaTXT has an interesting interview with the master woodcarver Yuboku Mukoyoshi, who oversaw the project and who has a craftsman’s take on it. For super-hi-res pics, go here, scroll down, and click through.