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Hirotoshi Ito aims to show how warm and soft stone can be by conveying joy and happiness

Hirotoshi Ito and one of the pebbles from „Pleasure Paradox “.

Beholders are meant to laugh and have fun with his works

Hirotoshi Ito of Japan, renowned for his „Pleasure Paradox“- pebble series, which we introduced some time ago, made us wonder, what a stonemason and sculptor produces in the Far-East. We searched the blog on his home page and he patiently answered all our questions.

The main portion of his every-day work goes into fabrication of gravestones. These are often veritable monuments of polished stone.

Hirotoshi Ito also occasionally produces the smaller version. The following photo shows a gravestone of a deceased pet.

Work by Hirotoshi Ito.

But his favorite medium is stone pebbles which he collects on the river bank near his atelier. One of his creation is „Rock in Rock“: an MP3-player integrated in stone with 2 GB music material.

Works by Hirotoshi Ito.

There is demand for such items, simultaneously functional and crazy, he writes: „I sold about ten of these.“

Work by Hirotoshi Ito.Works by Hirotoshi Ito.

Many items could be categorized as product design, even if are they humorous in nature: the paper bag made of stone, e.g., meant to be used as a book-end, or the bottle-holder in penguin-motif, an experiment in stone surfaces.

Works by Hirotoshi Ito.

Here, too, he constantly returns to pebbles. Minimalistic vases, so to speak.

Work by Hirotoshi Ito.

As is the case elsewhere, Japanese stonemasons occasionally are commissioned to do some sculpting. Our photo shows a doso-shin, one such commissioned piece. It is a deity which, it is hoped, will protect wayfarers and ward off evil from a town.

Works by Hirotoshi Ito..

Time and again, he finds room for jest despite the serious nature of his work. Why that is so is explained on his webpage under English > About me > Learn more: „He would be honored if his works would add laughs und smiles to people who get in contact with them“.

Hirotoshi Ito graduated from the University of the Arts in Tokyo where a great deal of his studies revolved around metals. He hoped to remove some of the cold hardness and replace it with some warmth and softness.

Work by Hirotoshi Ito.

After completing his studies, he took over his father’s workshop in Matsumoto. His metal-era is over, he sums up. He wants to continue giving his work an „unexpected softness and warmth“.

Hirotoshi Ito

Video „Rock in Rock“

Photos: Hirotoshi Ito

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(08.01.2018, USA: 01.08.2018)