Japanese artist Nagato Iwasaki creates eerily beautiful driftwood life-size sculptures that appear as “ancient beings, wandering through forests.” The wooden figurative structures are a captivating conceptualization of the inherent balance that is contained within humans and Earth’s ruling natural elements.
Some of the graceful life-size sculptures are intentionally left unfinished, while others have a wooden bicycle as an accessory. The romantic quality and naturalist aesthetic make the sculptures an inspirational and fitting artful approach to a conceptualized independent fantasy film that coaxes people to literally return to their roots and embrace a few moments in the complete awe of nature.
Imagine going on a peaceful hike through the woods only to suddenly stumble upon these bizarre figures?
Nagato Iwasaki, an exceptionally talented Japanese artist and sculptor, is one of those creators, whose works aren’t supposed to please the eye, but rather shock with their mesmerizing beauty, make the observers dive into the world of mystery and awaken their conflicting emotions. More often than not, his unbelievably detailed wooden figures, which can easily pass for the finest carpentry you’ll ever see, create an uneasy feeling and mixed emotions, bordering with fear, disturbance, and admiration at the same time.
After getting over the initial shock, you’d be psyched to learn what—or who—was responsible for them. That would be talented Japanese artist Nagato Iwasaki.
The haunting human figures made of nothing but wood look like the forest men, which were turned into featureless statues at the behest of an unknown magic as they were searching their way out of the forest thicket. Once people, they got transformed into haunting driftwood figures, froze in time and space and merged with the ancient Japanese woods as their inseparable part. At least, that’s an impression these unsettling sculptures, the forest guards, made on me.
Nagato’s sculptures are usually found deep in the woods, appearing as though they’re walking on their own.
The artist exhibits a lot of his sculptures deep in the Japanese woods, where they’re scattered among the live trees and, most likely, frighten occasional unsuspecting visitors to death. Looking like remarkably old and weird stumps or trunks of dead trees from afar, these start looking like paranormal forest spirits walking on their own as you approach them. That’s clearly something a sane person wouldn’t believe in. However, after the initial shock would wear off, he wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to examine these humanoids in detail and find the answers to the burning questions “Why?”, “Who?” and “How in the world?…”
Inspired by the human body, the sculptor uses driftwood to make haunting works of art.
Even though the sculptures look the most natural in the woods, Iwasaki exhibits them in tunnels and old historic buildings as well.
Whether you find these driftwood sculptures rather remarkable, absolutely beautiful or completely terrifying and disturbing, you can’t deny the extraordinary talent of their creator and his natural landscaping skills.