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Fumiya Watanabe Wood Sculpting Dreams

June 6, 2022

Fumiya Watanabe is a Japanese young creator who has been honed in traditional woodcarving. I feel that his calm sculptures are almost beautifully dreamlike in their style and presentation. Hence me wanting to share them with you.

He presently lives in Gifu prefecture and was born in Machida, Tokyo in 1985.
In 2003 he entered the Kyoto Traditional Crafts College, working in the wood carving department and studied Buddhist altar sculpture in Kyoto. After graduating, Fumiya became a disciple of Mr. Ryutsuki Iguchi, a traditional craftsman of Inami sculpture, in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture, and studied sculpture. He is now independent and active as a sculptor.

Through the magic of google translate, I got in touch with Fumiya to ask some questions, I’m so pleased that he was happy to take part in today’s post.

Who / What inspires you?

Nature, family and people. Take a walk in the garden, go out with your wife, and look at the people in the park. Pet dogs and cats too. I also like zoos.

Where do your sculptural ideas originate?

The idea of ​​the subject comes from what I feel in my daily life. Coexistence of the everyday, life, seasons, nature and people. Ideas come from such things. Regarding the sculpture itself, I think it is more important how to make it than what to make. The shape of the sculpture is important. Light and shadow. Texture. Emotions are transmitted from there.

I love these angelic leaf people.

Do you draw your ideas first, or do you dive into a piece of wood with your ideas in mind?

I draw a picture like a scribble in a sketchbook. From among them, select and carve what can be engraved.

I love the idea of ​​people sitting on animals, where did it start?

Thank you. I don’t remember when, but I have a habit of making myself smaller and imagining being in different places. Sitting on tree branches, ride on leaves, and confront insects. I think that such play came out naturally. Also, the animals on board express my feelings. It feels like it’s floating when it’s a fish.

Do you know the work of artist Michael Sowa ?, I feel a connection to your work.

I knew of it, but I hadn’t seen it properly. I think his work has an association with words that I can’t express.

How do you feel your work may develop in the next few years?

I would like to make a bigger pieces, and I think it would be fun if I could have a solo exhibition in various countries. What you make is shaped like what you feel in your daily life, so I think it will change depending on your age and where you live. But I don’t think it will change much.

Is there a possibility that you will sell your work online someday for those of us who cannot go to Japan?

Sadly no, I’m not thinking about selling online right now. The appearance of the sculpture is different from what you actually see in the photograph. I want people who buy it to actually see it. But my way of thinking may change.

Please tell us a little more about what sculpture and your work mean to you?

I think the work is like a piece of my heart. It reminds me of daily records and feelings at that time.

Did your parents always support you in your work?

Yes my parents support me in what I do. They helped me to go to school and to become a disciple. Now that I can live on my own, I wish I could return something to them.

Do you sculpt all day or do another job to survive?

I work half time on my own work and the rest with other work. It’s all about finding that balance.

It looks like Fumiya has had a couple of exhibitions already, what a beautiful gallery.

Thank you Fumiya for your time in answering my questions. I look forward to following your sculptural journey and seeing what wonders appear next.

What do these sculptures say to you ?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. psvallejos permalink
    June 8, 2022 11:31 pm


  2. June 23, 2022 6:45 am

    I love your work. It touches my heart. Is it for sale anywhere?? Thank you.

  3. July 4, 2022 11:06 pm

    Su obra es de una sensibilidad sutil, logra transmitir emociones y sentimientos con claridad y manifiesta poesía en la materia…
    Es de una belleza frágil y a la vez de una profundidad poderosa.

    • July 5, 2022 7:23 am

      49 / 5,000
      Translation results
      Es muy cierto. La poesía en la escultura con certeza

  4. Stefan permalink
    September 8, 2022 9:06 pm

    I came across Fumiya’s Insta account and found your blog with the interesting interview! Thank you for the interesting interview. I’m fascinated from his art – sad to read that he does not sell abroad! Maybe he’ll have an exhibition in Europe? Do you have an idea? Pls drop me a note ( Best regards, Stefan

    • September 8, 2022 9:35 pm

      Thank you Stefan, I guess it is possible that a a European exhibition may happen in the future, we will just have to keep watch ☺️

  5. Jennifer Katusha permalink
    September 11, 2022 2:32 pm

    Do you know where you can purchase his sculptures?


    • September 11, 2022 6:36 pm

      Hi Jennifer, as it explains in the interview Fumiya only sells in his exhibitions at the moment,

      • Jennifer Katusha permalink
        September 18, 2022 12:11 am

        Thank you very much for your reply.
        I will keep hoping his pieces will one day be for sale online. 🙂

  6. MARIA JOSE ALCARAZ permalink
    January 23, 2023 6:29 pm

    Gracias por esta nota maravillosa,Fumiya Watanabe aporta belleza al mundo, en un momento donde la crisis climática,social y económica parecen arrasar con todo,aparecen sus tallas, dándo paz,belleza,armonía y sueños de amor y cuidados.Gracias, gracias,graaaciasssss!💙💜🧡💛💚🤎

  7. Schuh catherine permalink
    May 4, 2023 6:20 am

    Bonjour j’aimerais acheter une de vos statues
    Comment faire . Merci bonne journée.

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