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Aluminum Foil Sculptures by Toshihiko Mistuya

A tinfoil sculpture of a figure riding a birdAnonymous Relatives - Archaeologist, installation

Toshihiko Mitsuya works in two and three dimensions, though the artist is particularly known for three-dimensional aluminum foil sculptures. Featuring incredible amounts of fine detail, these sculptures often take the form of figures on horseback, in multiple editions that fill gallery spaces with sculptural armies.


A photo of an aluminum foil sculpture of a skeletal figure on horsebackAnonymous Relatives - Gardener, installation

I’m really impressed by Mitsuya’s skill in working with such a delicate material. While the size of the sculptures varies, the larger ones are almost life-sized, and feature an incredible amount of detail. Textures like fur, decorative armour and chain mail are rendered with smooth, patterned forms. In his smaller sculptures, the artist embraces the wrinkled texture of the medium, creating more gestural forms. Some of these twisting metal forms remind me of the sculptures of Choe U-Ram.


The artist’s two-dimensional works are also quite interesting. In these, Mitsuya utilizes stainless steel and lacquer paint to creating shimmering textures on hard surfaces. The result is paintings that seem to change and evolve depending on the viewing angle.


A close-up photo of a sculpture by Toshihiko MitsuyaAnonymous Relatives - Gardener (detail view), photo by Shinji Minegishi


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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