Tokyo-based artist Haroshi is known for layering recycled skateboard decks to produce mosaic sculptures. Now, he’s back with more incredible creations. They’re for his solo exhibition titled Still Pushing Despite the Odds that opens on February 19 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York City. This isn’t the first time we’ve marveled at Haroshi’s works, and as always we’re fascinated by what he can produce with the stacks of laminated wood.
For this latest show, Haroshi incorporates objects of low-technology from the early to mid 1900s. Neon signs, dental utensils, and roller skates are fashioned using an assortment of tools likes chisels and Japanese carving instruments. He’s meticulously arranged the many, many skate decks, and this precision yields beautiful patterns and small, colorful lines that flow through each piece like thread.
Although you can’t always tell, Haroshi includes every part of the old skateboards in his work. The metallic bits are often placed in the center of the sculpture to signify its “soul.” This mimics the Japanese tradition of sculpting Great Buddhas. Unkei, a master sculptor in 12th Century Japan, used to place a crystal called Shin-gachi-rin in the position of the statue’s heart as a symbol of its soul.
Still Pushing Despite the Odds is on view through March 21 of this year.