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Hiroto Nakanishi

Hiroto Nakanishi (b. 1984, Japan) was born in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. He set up his own atelier in 2008, and relocated to Shiga Prefecture (well known as the largest lake in Japan) in Autumn of 2011. Nakanishi’s wood carving process is quite unusual. It starts with discovering something in wood, rather than conceiving an image of an item, such as a flower vase. Nakanishi found himself losing interest in neatly arranged, ready-made timber in shops, which is easy to manage and excellent for woodworking. In Japan, entering a forest to source wood without permission is prohibited. As most forests are owned publicly or privately and managed by forestry associations, people caught logging without approval are charged with theft. However, trees in forests are prone to fall due to frequent typhoons and torrential rainfall. In such a case, Nakanishi, with a chain saw in his hand, joins in forest maintenance and works with local people. He believes it is his duty as a community member to maintain the environment. Among felled trees, only “healthy” wood is taken by timber dealers while decayed pieces are left behind. These odd pieces of timber, labeled valueless and excluded from commercial activity though, capture this unique wood sculptor. Nakanishi embraces cracks and rotten parts of wood as its charm and character.