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Portrait of miscellaneous wood

Finding materials destined to be thrown away.

For about 30 years, I have been working with “miscellaneous wood” from the Shonan and Izu Peninsula area. However, they are not easy to handle and prepared for sculpture. His work begins with finding log material from trees that have been cut down for urban development, or that have fallen due to typhoons and are destined to be thrown away. Trees in their natural state are beautiful enough as they are. However, as a creator, I cannot rest on my laurels. I carve and carve and carve to create a work of art while taking advantage of the unique shape and vigor of the tree. It is more of a struggle than a creation.

My workspace sits on a high hill overlooking a broad stretch of sea, where winds gust up to the mountain ridge behind. I work under a wide sky, with no walls or ceiling to hold me in, in a constant face-to-face with nature. A small cabin nearby is where I take shelter and rest, and at those times I understand why people seek the comfort of enclosures. My pieces, too, hide away my weaknesses from the wide outside, even as I keep taking on the challenges of the open sky.

Sketches and materials. Poor lines and trees.

When I create a work of art, I make use of my training in drawing and repeat the sketching process. However, when I try to draw lines on the wood, the wood twists, distorts, splits, and falls short, and I am forced to revise the shape I imagined in my sketch. However, through repeated trial and error, I noticed that my poor lines were getting a little better. When I look at the finished work, I can see the wind blowing through the mountains and the birds passing by.

Daily training to shape it.

Every day, I practice figure drawing and sketching before sketching to create my artwork. By capturing the shapes of nature through sketching, I am able to draw lines that are responsible as an artist, not streamlines or parabolas created by the laws of physics.

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