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Surreal Wood Sculptures Feature Multiple Facial Expressions on One Face

Japanese artist Yoshitoshi Kanemaki chisels these impressive life-sized figures from a single piece of wood. They are portrayed in a realistic manner, but Kanemaki gives his sculptures unique traits. Every impeccable artwork features two or more characters or expressions that are merged into one form. Sometimes, this means that an individual has multiple faces attached to their head, while other times parts of their body is joined with another person.

To craft this work, Kanemaki carves and chips away at a large log. The bark is stripped from it, and he sketches the form onto the wood. From there, he transforms the material into a smooth surface that captures the subtle details of the human body.

There are numerous ways to look at Kanemaki's surreal sculptures. The different facial expressions circulate 360 degrees around the figures, and it's as though we're seeing these people in a film, frame by frame. Unlike their faces, their bodies remain in the same static pose, and it clues us in that there's something strange about these pieces.

Yoshitoshi Kanemaki website
via [Pixel Loft]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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