Small in stature, but not in substance
High Line Art
In a modern twist on the tradition of Japanese woodcarving, Tomoaki Suzuki sculpts small wooden and bronze portraits of human subjects, each some 20 inches high or so, with a remarkable sense of psychological presence. A London resident, Suzuki finds subjects in his Hackney neighborhood; he works with his models in front of him, sketching and photographing them in detail before embarking on the two-to-three-month process of carving, sculpting, and painting each figure in acrylics. The sculptures typically depict diverse urban youths in natural postures, their personal dress styles expressive of their identities. Carson (2009), for instance, an androgynous figure with angular facial features and bleached blonde hair, wears a leather biker jacket and trousers with black boots and black painted nails. Suzuki studied with the Japanese sculptor Katsura Funakoshi.
Japanese, b. 1972, Mito, Japan, based in London, United Kingdom