Stone isn’t naturally malleable, and yet, Japanese artist Hirotoshi Ito (previously) carves his sculptures to make the material appear as if it can be unzipped or sliced with a butter knife. Using rocks he finds on beaches near his home in Matsumoto City, Ito chisels tiny caverns that he lines with clasps or simple fasteners. He then tucks miniature objects like teeth, a collection of seashells, and futuristic scenes into those pockets, creating surreal and intriguingly deceptive scenarios in the span of a few inches.
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Ito’s family has worked in stone sculpting since 1879, and although he planned to take over the business, his experience studying metalsmithing in college prompted him to begin an art practice instead. Some of his sculptures are on view through the end of the month at Tokyo’s Gallery Little High, and keep an eye on his Instagram for news about upcoming shows.