Japanese artist Haroshi makes art pieces by recycling old skateboards. His creations are born through styles such as wooden mosaic, dots, and pixels; where each element, either cut out in different shapes or kept in their original form are connected in different styles, and shaven into the form of the final art piece.
Haroshi became infatuated with skateboarding in his early teens and is still a passionate skater. With no formal art training, Haroshi adapted the determined perseverance and DIY ethos of skate culture to his artwork.
The most important style of Haroshi’s sculptures is the wooden mosaic. In order to make a sculpture out of a thin skateboard deck, Haroshi stacks countless layers. While skateboards may seem like they’re all the same shape, their structures vary according to the brand and model. With his extensive knowledge of skateboards, Haroshi is able to differentiate from thousands of used decks, immediately knowing which deck fits with which when stacked.
After the skateboard decks are chosen and stacked, they are cut, shaved and polished. His style is influenced by the traditional wooden Japanese Great Buddhas. 90% of Buddha statues in Japan are carved from wood and built using the method of wooden mosaic; in order to save on material costs and to minimize weight. Although not visible from the outside, there is a metal object buried inside his sculptures. To Haroshi, this symbolizes the soul of the sculpture. Unkei, a Japanese sculptor of Buddhas who was active in the 12th Century used to set a crystal ball called “Shin-Gachi-Rin” (Heart Moon Circle) in the position of the Buddha’s heart. This would become the soul of the statue.