Toshihiko Hosaka has been dazzling the art scene for almost 20 years with spectacular sculptures made with nothing but sand.
While most of us mortals go to the beach to chill, tan or embarrassingly slop about in the sea, this Tokyo-based artist uses it as a canvas to create perfect life-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s David and tyrannosaurs.
Born in the northern Japanese prefecture of Akita, Hosaka is considered one of the greatest sand sculptors in the world right now, alongside American Carl Jara. Life-like dioramas and imposing renderings of Poseidon, his mammoth creations take many hours and even days to accomplish.
Most impressively, he uses nothing more than that granular substance even Anakin Skywalker admitted to hating because “It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.”
But what might be a problem for the dark lord is nothing but a walk in the park for Hosaka. He only uses sand and water to mould his creations, and as soon as the figure is completed he sprays on it a special glue he developed with a Japanese chemical company to harden the surface and protect the piece from the wind and sun.
His works have earned many accolades all around the globe, the latest at the Fulong International Sand Art Festival in Taiwan. At the gathering, 22 artists competed for the best sand sculpture around the theme “hero”.
Toshihiko Hosaka won first prize for a jaw-dropping representation of the legendary Ronin Musashi Miyamoto. He spent three days creating this incredibly detailed figure of the deadly 17th century swordsman who, legend says, went undefeated for 60 duels.
The Japanese artist extraordinaire travels around all year showcasing his talent in many tournaments and helming workshops where he teaches his craft. You can check out his official website to find out if his work will be displayed at an event near you.