Art

This artist’s humanoid driftwood sculptures will creep you out and here’s why

You wouldn’t want these bad boys in your backyard. Standing at 180 centimetres tall, this pile of driftwood is the stuff of nightmares.

Feast your eyes on Nagato Iwasaki’s work – humanoid sculptures made entirely of driftwood he collects from all over Japan. Do you find them creepy? Yep, that’s completely normal. There’s even a name for it: “Uncanny valley”

“In aesthetics, the uncanny valley is the hypothesis that human replicas which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit feelings of eeriness and revulsion among some observers.”

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Iwasaki started creating art in the mid-’80s, and these sculptures have been his bread and butter for three decades. While they may make most of us feel uncomfortable, they’re actually extraordinary works of art. Take a look:

Does Iwasaki intend to create a feeling of uneasiness with his art? We’re not sure. Little is known about the Japanese artist. But these sculptures have made waves overseas before, including at the 1996 Florence Biennale.

“Descriptions of Iwasaki’s sculptures by viewers run the gamut from scary, unsettling, and imposing, to profound, intriguing, and otherworldly,” writes Rachel Mimms.

What do you think of this “headless” pair?

For more of Nagato Iwasaki’s work, visit his official website.