Wooden Toys (Yosegi Mokuzougan)
These beautiful and unique wooden toys are hand-crafted by Japanese artist Takeji Nakagawa, who goes by Take-G. He uses the wood construction technique Yosegi-Mokuzougan to make his toys, related to the yosegi technique used with Japanese puzzle boxes. Yosegi is a type of traditional Japanese parquetry which originated in Japan’s culturally rich Edo Period. It has been increasingly well reputed in foreign countries. The mosaic work is made by making best use of natural fine grains and textures of wood. Timbers of different colors are cut into oblong rods of desired sections. The rods are then glued together to form the section of geometrical pattern designed. The sectional surface is sliced into thin plates of wood, which are glued onto boxes and other handicraft works. To add to glaze and sturdiness of the surface, finish coatings are applied.
Working with four types of wood—keyaki, teak, walnut, and white ash—Take-G is a master at accentuating the contrasting relationships between the different colors and textures of each wood in order to express artistic patterns.
He says, “I often get asked ‘Why do you make robots with wood?’ I don’t really have an exact answer for it but I often relate my robots with the ‘future’.
What do you relate the future with? Cities full of metals, glass and plastics in a SF movie??? What we really want is not that kind of future but one full of trees and something more natural. I don’t think humans can live without trees no matter what advances technology makes.
When I think of ‘future’, I cannot help thinking of ‘past’ at the same time. Trees take long time (tens and hundreds years) to grow and show us their beauty (the product of their past). I think that I have responsibilities as a craftsman and an artist of breathing new life into these trees. I have a job to link 100 years in the past and 100 years in the future through my work. This is my values toward my work.”
Take a look at his sight, difficult to read though as it is all in Japanese – Take-G Toys