Nanzuka Gallery in Tokyo recently opened the long awaited solo by local artist Haroshi (featured). After many successful shows worldwide, Guzo is the first major exhibition for the artist in his hometown.

For this showing, the Japanese artist worked on a new concept and created a series of over 20 figurines carved from salvaged skate decks. After trying several different techniques of repurposing old skateboards over the years, Haroshi went back to the original concept of compressing multiple boards together and then using the resulting solid wooden slab as carving material. Through his masterful craftsmanship, he managed to create pieces where the colorful layers expose different features and body parts on the sculptures. Working in a compact series like this for the first time, Haroshi also created an effective installation for the show, consisting of a round box on which these sculptures were displayed. Ranging from only 10 inches to over 50 inches high, these colorful mannequins are his commentary on Japan’s love for toys and collecting. Reminiscent of the popular round benches that skaters often enjoy, the display matched the large quarter-ramp installation also created from used decks. Taking an innovative technical approach, he manged to flatten these boards and assemble them in a way so that they create a smooth and vibrant skateable surface inside the gallery space.

Discuss Haroshi here.