Ken Fujimoto

Ken Fujimoto

What attracts people to Ken Fujimoto’s creations? As a fan who has been observing, buying, and using his creations since he opened his studio in 2012, even I cannot put into words quite what it is that makes his works so enchanting.

It’s as though you can almost hear the breath of the trees emanating from everything he makes.

The items Ken creates are beautifully distorted, perforated, and chipped.Describing them like this may sound strange, but it’s true.

Throughout history, people have had a symbiotic relationship with trees.Over time and experience, humans have been able to manipulate wood to be straight, unbending, and almost unchangeable and used it in everything from the supporting beams of a house to legs for a chair.

The wood used in Ken's works is natural – complete with knots and flowing lines, just as it grows in nature.
I think people are attracted to the raw and natural beauty of wood and its defiance in being controlled and manipulated by humans that Ken shows us with his creations.The same is true for the artist himself, who works in collaboration with the wood, delighting in the elements of the unexpected and the coincidental as he crafts the shapes.

Tamagusuku, Nanjo City is an area where many ruins and sacred places remain.Ken's home, studio, gallery, and a restaurant his friend runs are located against the backdrop of a Satoyama, an area between the mountain foothills and arable flat land, with an atmosphere and dense vegetation unique to Okinawa.Ken, who was originally a craftsman who used to make fittings and furniture, built all of the buildings himself.Here you can see the world of the woodcraft artist Ken Fujimoto, his attention to detail and delicate craftsmanship can be seen in every single piece of work, including the garden landscaping. From the moment visitors step inside, there is a feeling of excitement over the wonderful pieces they are about to encounter.

In this unique world, the craftsman who was originally required to do very detailed and precise work is now making objects that are beautifully distorted and overflowing with water.To me, it seems his works are becoming even more unique every year. It’s almost as though his creations have taken on a life of their own. His creativity is becoming more and more free and bold.

When raw wood is curbed to a shape on a wood lathe, the wood deforms as the softer parts are pulled by the harder parts during the drying stage. Although it can be predicted to some extent, even the creator himself has no idea how it will turn out in the end until it is complete.  Redwood, Mulberry, Banyan, and Ash are the main woods used, however, most of the ones Ken receives are scrap wood acquired from landscapers and so vary in type, shape, and size.

It is hard to leave without taking home a special piece of art created by giving new life to wood that was once abandoned. In our house, large bowls are an essential element contributing to the atmosphere of our home. So even though I see them on a daily basis, I still feel enchanted when I see my shelves lined with bowls by Ken. I hope you enjoy the fascinating world of Ken Fujimoto's creations that make every day special.

Note: Please note that Ken also makes a standard series of wares that are perfectly aligned in shape with no warps, holes, or chips.