ITO Hirotoshi

ITO Hirotoshi works ITO Hirotoshi works ITO Hirotoshi works ITO Hirotoshi works ITO Hirotoshi works ITO Hirotoshi works
1982 B.F.A., Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
1958 Born in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture

Ito is very active in promoting the growing contemporary craft traditions of Nagano area, and twenty years ago he and his friends initiated a grass roots project which has grown into an annual craft festival in Matsumoto City, for which he now serves as President.

Solo Exhibitions

Numerous number of solo and group exhibitions are held all over the place in Japan since 1982.

2019 Pleasure of Paradox, Keiko Art International
2017 Mysterious Stones, Gallery Little High, Tokyo (’15)
Nagoya Mitsukoshi, Aichi
2016 Ito Hirotoshi Stone Works, Gallery Space M, Gunma
Gallery Hiro, Nagano
2013 Sibuya Seibu, Tokyo
2012 NUKUNUKU, Saitama
2011 Pleasure of Paradox '11, KEIKO Gallery, Boston (’08)
Ikebukuro Seibu, Tokyo
2010 Tennozu Aisle, Tokyo
2009 Marble and Stone Sculpture, Gallery East, Australia
2007 Tennozu Aisle, Tokyo
2006 Laughing Stone, Asahi Museum, Nagano

Group Exhibitions

2018 Artists’ Night, 2018, Villa Domuse, Honfleur, France
Ito Hirotoshi + Satoh Yohichi, Inoue Gallery('16, '14,'12)
2017-8 Exposition Caillou Papier Ciseaux, Spacejunk Art Centers, Bayonne, Lyon, Grenoble
2017 Fantastiske Figurationer, Galerie Knud Grothe, Denmark('16, '15)
2015-6 HEY! Act III, Modern Art & Pop Culture, Mairie de Paris, France
2013 Art Fair Tokyo, Tokyo
2009 Perfect Fit—Shoes Tell Stories, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton MA
MIASA EXHIBIT, Mendocino, CA SOFA New York (’08, ’07)
2008 SOFA Chicago (’07,’06)
2007 Japan Month in Houston: Contemporary Japanese Arts and Crafts
2001 Designed and Produced a Monument for Azumino Chihiro Museum
1992 Exhibition-Abitare II Tempo, Verona, Italy
1990 Tokyo Daily Art Competition
2002 The Fifth Trick Art Competition
2000 The Forth Trick Art Competition
1997 The Third Trick Art Competition
1989 Atelier Nouveau Competition
1987 Atelier Nouveau Competition
  • Matsumoto City Library, Nagano
  • Shiroyama Park, Matsumoto, Nagano
  • Saint Paul Church, Karuizawa, Nagano
  • Hofukuji, Shigamura, Nagano
  • Love and the People's Path, Nerima, Tokyo
  • Chihiro Museum, Azumino, Nagano
  • HEY! Modern Art & Pop Culture
  • Japan Economic Newspaper
  • Japan Economic Newspaper
  • Front Cover, Kokuyo Notebook
  • CD Jacket, Marvel, Ukraine
  • Front Cover, British Dental Journal
  • JAPANSK GRAFIK och Skulpturer av Ito Hirotoshi, Sweeden
  • The Sun, England
  • England
  • Stone Ideas, Germany

  • Medias

  • TV Asashi, Design Code
  • Fuji Television
  • Osaka Yomiuri Television
  • NHK, Evening Shinshu
  • Nippon Television
  • My family has been involved in stone work since 1879. From my birth I grew up surrounded by various kinds of stone and work such as stone lanterns and graves tones. Although I was determined to eventually take over my family business, I entered the Metal Work Department of Tokyo University of the Arts. The stimulating encounters with other metal artists in the school, and their work, became the foundation of my way of thinking and of my creativity. My work can be divided into two groups. One is solid sculpture carved from marble or granite where I alter the natural surface of the stone into sculptural forms that do not appear to be stone but some other material. The other group is made from beach stones where I use the natural forms of the stones and make alterations and additions that give the natural stones different character. All of my work in both categories relates to the ordinary images, objects and experiences in daily life. A prominent characteristic of both types of my work is my attempt to create the illusion that the stone is something MORE than stone or is a different material altogether. Matsumoto City, where I live, is surrounded by splendid mountains and is richly endowed with natural beauty. The stones delivered from these mountains have been washed by fresh streams of water over very long periods of time, and each stone has a unique form that has been created naturally. As I gather stones on the riverbank, I imagine stories and works of art I can create with them. However, I try to emphasize the natural shapes, colors and beauty of these stone and generally try not to change their original shapes. Respecting and utilizing the natural characteristics of original material is a very old and important aspect of Japanese culture. We have a concept of creativity known as mitate, which involves creating new values by taking something that holds certain significance in one context and placing it in a different context. A typical example is the raked gravel in a temple garden that resembles flowing water. Although I am a contemporary artist I feel that such ancient Japanese concepts are deeply embedded in my DNA.