As a self taught artist, Toyko-based Haroshi takes on the DIY ethos, translating it into some amazing artwork. Focusing on skateboard culture, Haroshi creates full-scale, 3D, wooden sculptures, utilizing skateboard decks in his work. His passion as a skater from a young age led him to collecting broken skateboards in order to recycle the parts and create his vision as art.
Tell us a little about your hometown and when you first got into skateboarding.
In the city where I was born there is a Park famous for skateboarding, because a lot of people skated there. Looking those people I decided to start skating with a childhood friend.
What led you to start crafting sculptures out of old skateboards? How’d you come up with the idea?
At the beginning I would cut from the skateboard position as a plane surface and made different things. Then I thought that sticking skateboards together and making three-dimensional stuff would be really interesting. So I started creating objects. Just the thought of it was so interesting that I was completely swallowed into it.
Can you describe the process involved in creating one? What are all the steps required?
I simply look for decks with curves that match well together, stick them and then carve. That’s it!
How long does it generally take you to finish a project? Which step would you say is the most difficult or time consuming?
It depends work to work, it takes about 1 month to create one work. If it’s long, then it will take from 3 to 4 months. Carving also takes a lot of time, but thinking of what to create also takes even more time.
On your site it says that you bury a broken off or damaged piece of metal in each of your sculptures, giving them a distinct sense of life or soul. Why is this act important to you?
That’s a distinctive trait of Japanese people! Parts you don’t see are the most important. That’s so mysterious, isn’t it?
Before starting on a new piece, how do you decide which image you are going to sculpt?
Of course I create stuff that I want to create! When doing works you don’t feel much interested into, that will bring to make out not so good stuff. If you want to create good things it’s important for your work to be interesting!
How did you learn to build such beautiful creations? Is it a continual learning process or did you have a mentor/craftsman to look up to?
I have no mentor at all! I create at all my strength every day, I think a lot, and that’s fun for me. And I keep raising and raising the quality of my works. The same thing goes for skating.
Do you have a particular piece you are most proud of?
I am really emotionally involved with DUNK. That was special! And for me it was quite a topic to get better than that! I’m fully satisfied with works presented at DLX x HUF x HAROSHI, I think with those I surpassed DUNK’s level.
What’s next for Haroshi?
I won’t say what I’m going to create. But I’m doing to create even better works than this time! Just look forward to it!!
Check out more of Haroshi’s work at: