⟨ Craft ⟩

Hiroto Nakanishi’s woodware

Retrieving life from the dead

Words and Photography / Ron Lam
Translation / Iris Heung

中西洋人造的木器,需要一面空白的牆壁來襯托。在空間的餘白裡,才會看得見已然逝去的生命彷彿又裊裊燃起,堅強而溫柔。

樹木任風吹雨打過,身體在多變的氣候之中破裂過,飽歷風霜後有著更深邃的魅力。中西洋人常用朽木造器物,卻不視之為材料,而是視之為老師。因為他不是以朽木來實踐自己心中的想像,而是仔細觀察它們,細看它們身上每一道年輪、傷口的弧道,他認為自己所做的,只是將自己看到的美,努力表現出來,把朽木化為一個個彰顯了凋零生命的美態的器物。中西洋人將器物雕刻出來了,但工序未必就此完結,他有時會將之放在室外,再受日曬雨淋,經過洗刷的作品的顏色、氣質更加自然而獨特。

我家裡有這樣一個中西洋人的木碟子,說是器皿,我卻不曾以之盛載任何食物。中西洋人讓朽木以器皿的方式存在,而非單純的雕塑,似乎是為了使它更輕易地走進生活之中,「用」與「不用」角力,矛盾之中產生了更具張力的美感。

The woodwares made by Hiroto Nakanishi are best to be set against a pure white backdrop, as the void is the best medium to reveal the firm yet gentle energy of the life that was retrieved from the decayed.

Cracks are formed on trees under the beating of wind and rain, but these scars only give the wood a more mature and profound charm. Although Nakanishi usually creates with dead wood, he never sees it simply as a material; instead, he sees it as his mentor. He never uses the dead wood to merely execute a predesigned concept, rather, he would first observe in minute detail its growth rings and the curve of its wounds, before creating something to best unleash the intrinsic beauty of that piece of wood. His works depict the aesthetics of lives that were once dead. After carving the wood into different items, he would sometimes leave the products outdoors to let them further deteriorate by rain and sunshine. The process allows every item to acquire an even genuine color and unique charisma.

I personally own a wooden plate made by Hiroto Nakanishi but I never use it as a container for food. By turning dead wood into various containers and tableware, Nakanishi perhaps treats his works more as daily utensils rather than mere sculptures. The beauty of utilitarian is somehow resisting that of non-utilitarian, the dilemma, in turn, gives birth to a more substantial beauty.