There has to be an idea or subject, but not one that can be explained in conceptual terms; that is superficial and sterile.
This sentence, out of all the others, proves his thinking weak. BUT, in his own less-than-advanced manner, he has gotten himself on the right track by venturing some convictions. Some more hard work and some more hard thinking will save him. Plenty of other artists (the wishy-washy and non-committal) are well behind him. He'll be okay eventually.
The "contemporary-ness" of sculpture only depends upon its participation and visibility within the scheme of current (sculpture) events. It is NOT an issue of style or an issue of how it addresses or rejects tradition. It is not well-placed energy to wonder about the status of contemporary sculpture. THAT stuff happens in the art "career" not the art "life". Such a trifle is easily handled in the meanderings of the 87.7% of obligated travail which puts meat on the plate and beer in the fridge.