Satoru Koizumi

, b. 1983

Satoru Koizumi’s carved wood sculptures of human figures dressed as animals offer a subtle critique of the modern world. His sculptures have childlike faces that contrast with an atmosphere of alienation and worry. Koizumi’s work explores the human condition, contrasting ideas of nature and instinct with progress and civilization. The neutral colors and gritty surfaces of his sculptures challenge the kitsch, color-saturated, consumerist aesthetics of the Japanese concept of kawaii (cute). Japanese wood carving traditions are essential to Koizumi’s work, and he has developed his own contemporary style of traditional wood carving techniques. The charming appearances of his sculptures belie their commentary on contemporary society’s broken connection to nature. Demonstrated by the melancholic expressions of works such as Lesser Panda (2017), Koizumi conveys how modern society increases humans’ negative emotions and hinders feelings of mental and spiritual well being. He earned an MA in sculpture at the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts.