The Incredible Customs of Yohei Kaneko & Shigeta Tanaka for Bewitching II, 10.5

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I’m at a loss for words over these next pieces for Bewitching II, this batch from powerhouse Japanese artists Yohei Kaneko (Mirock Toy) and Shigeta Tanaka (Goccodo Design). If you’ve been following along with our Stingy Jack and Calliope Jackalope Anatomy Series, the names likely ring a bell: Yohei being the sculptor on both projects and Shigeta the liaison between Obitsu and T+CP. Much credit goes to them for getting the Tomenosuke + Circus Posterus sofubi initiative off the ground and now we have the exciting opportunity to see some of their original work on Western soil.

On the left stands Yohei’s Fūjin Skelve with Shigeta’s Oinari Skelve flanking him on the right. Both are masterpieces of resin, wood and spray paint and you can’t help but marvel at the cleanliness and precision. “(Fūjin is a) God coming from Japanese ancient times,” Shigeta writes, on behalf of Yohei. The god of wind, Fūjin resembles a terrifying demon and is often pictured carrying large bags of winds on his shoulders. “The face of the terrible ogre was most suitable for the disguise of the Halloween show,” Shigeta continues. “The sculpture of Fūjin was very congenial for Mirock Toy (Yohei), who always engraved a Buddha statue.”

Shigeta’s Oinari Skelve is equally as stunning. Inspired by the traditional Japanese god of the same name, Oinari (or “Inari”) is symbolic of enterprise and worldly success. He is often depicted with white foxes known as kitsune, which he uses as messengers. The fox mask, Shigeta explains, is also a common children’s disguise in Japan.

The third piece, titled Canon Ballo, is a collaboration between Yohei and Shigeta. A custom of one of Kathie Olivas’s iconic birds, this particular piece was made entirely for fun and it shows, with both artists taking the cart and suping it into an F1 racer, decals and all. This is such a playful piece that shows off the breadth of their talent and imagination when juxtaposed with the Skelves. That said, I’d die if it was a pullback; how hilarious would the be?!

(So much for that loss for words…)

Bewitching II opens this Friday with a reception from 6pm to 9pm. We have plenty more stashed away in our bag of tricks, so keep checking back!

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