Hirotoshi Ito…. Is a Japanese artist who has strayed from the relative fine line between looking and seeing, never loses his unlimited imagination and energy, and transforms natural stones into marvelous statues. Before moving on to Ito’s works, we would like to thank him for answering our questions online.
Hiroshi Ito is famous with his incredible talent in making solid, hard stones look as light and soft materials. Hirotoshi turns these cold and hard materials into clothes, coin purses, breads, smiley faces and other surreal humorous stone sculptures with his magical hands and unlimited imagination.
“I would be honored if my work makes people laugh”
Hirotoshi Ito comes from a family who have been dealing with stone works since 1879,. Therefore, stone is a well-known material for him. After graduating from the Department of Metalworking at Tokyo Art University in 1982, he returned to the stone business of his family. He says: “Meeting other metal artists and their work at the school was the basis of my thinking and creativity. As a person who always enjoys humor and laughter, the smile on the face of the audience is the main motivation of my work. ” His work really reflects this idea.
“Every stone has a unique form”
Ever since I was born, I grew up surrounded by various stones, such as stone lanterns and tombstones, I live in Matsumoto City, a place that is surrounded by magnificent mountains and abundance of natural beauties. The stones extracted from these mountains have been washed with clean water streams for a very long time, and each stone has a unique form that has been created naturally. When I am collecting stones by the river, I imagine stories and artworks that I can create with them. Although the basic materials are natural stone, I combine various materials with them. However, I try to emphasize the natural shapes, colors and beauty of these stones and generally do not change their original shapes.”
Effects of surrealism
Hirotoshi Ito says that he uses diamond tools and sand blasting as well as chisels and hammers to shape his work and is inspired by the pioneers of surrealism, René Magritte and Salvador Dalí, whom he became interested in since high school years.
Two different categories of works
Japanese artist İto says the following about his works that he divided into two groups: ”One of my working fields are sculptures made of marble or granite which does not look like they are made of another material other than stone. The other group consists of river stones where I use the natural forms of stones and make changes and additions that give natural stones a different character. All of my work in both categories is about ordinary images, objects and experiences in everyday life. A distinctive feature of both types of work is the attempt to create the illusion that stone is more than stone or a completely different material. ”
Hirotoshi Ito says that when he’s working with stones, which are hard and fragile materials, when things don’t go well, he motivates himself with these words: “Don’t overdo it, don’t think too much, in the end everything will be fine.