One-eyed Bear-man Transformation, 2009
David Ruben Piqtoukun
Canadian (Inuit), 1950
Brazilian soapstone, pipestone, African Springstone, and polar bear fur
29.5 x 41 x 16.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 42906)
Piqtoukun frequently brings the mythical down to earth and into the present by including personal elements and his own stories in his work. In this sculpture of a one-eyed shaman in the act of transforming himself into a powerful and wise polar bear, Piqtoukun has added a goose-egg bump on the head that refers to a serious fall and injury that he sustained while ice fishing one winter. He further identifies himself with the piece by adding his disk number on the shoulder of the bear. In place of Inuit names, these numbers were printed on tags for census-taking purposes.