The drawings emerge ”Mokuzogan wood inlay artist, Koki Toshima”

The drawings emerge
”Mokuzogan wood inlay artist, Koki Toshima”

Life expressed with Mokuzogan wood inlay art

Koki Toshima appeared with his hair in a ponytail and his head wrapped in a towel, looking just like an artist.
He is a ”Mokuzogan” wood inlay artist who has won numerous awards.

Originally wanting to be a painter, Toshima’s ”Mokuzogan” work look just like pictures.
He uses various colors and hues, making his work look three dimensional.

The theme of Toshima’s work is ”life”.
”I base my work on the theme that life is universally active, and new life is always being born. People have said that they felt their chests begin to move after seeing my work. That makes me very happy to hear that. It makes the work worthwhile.”
The pieces have a sense of serenity, yet there is also a sense of movement.
Maybe that is what makes people’s heart move.

A traditional technique called ”burning”

Various colors from dark to light colors are used in Toshima’s work, but the most unique characteristic is a technique called ”burning” which is rare in Japan.
By burning the tree with heated sand, it creates different shades of light and dark as well as a three dimensional effect.

When burning, he picks up parts with a tweezer, and put run then through the sand many times.
”How long should you do that?”
”When you see smoke, you stop. It’s like they are telling me don’t burn anymore.”
He burns the pieces one by one as if he is having a conversation with the wood pieces.

Wanting to touch and see the work

”This is cool.” Nakata stares into the picture many times.
”I want it, but I don’t have anywhere to put it.”
”Why don’t you build a warehouse?”
”But I want to be able to see it. It should be touched and looked at, don’t you think?. ”

During the conversation, Tojima commented,
”Originally, this technique was alive in the world of traditional ”kogei”. I wanted to paint, so I began creating this kind of work, but the technique is traditional. I would like to be able to pass on to the next generation that you can make work like this by using this kind of technique.”
Touching and seeing helps to relay things to the next generation.
We encountered the depth of expression in the world of Mokuzogan wood inlay.


Koki Toshima
Ichikawa, Chiba