by Milo Sumner in New Art on Tuesday 19 August 2014

Hirotoshi Itoh, a.k.a Jiyuseki, is a Japanese artist who works with purposefully difficult materials to create light-hearted sculptures that challenge the convention of that material.

To make his stone sculptures, Jiyuseki first collects suitable stones from the river near his house, worn smooth by the water. Each piece takes a lot of time and patience to fashion, but the results are worth it. The sculptures juxtapose the hardness of the stone with humourous additions. From a stone ‘cushion’ with stuffing leaking out to a bulging purse, it seems that Jiyuseki is able to manipulate materials that are quite literally rock-hard to do anything he wants.