Art + Botany: Mitsuru Koga

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Art + Botany: Mitsuru Koga

January 19, 2012
01:18pm
Photo by: Mitsuru Koga

Mitsuru Koga is an artist who emulates nature. Working with leaves, rocks, and driftwood, he becomes the hungry grasshopper, the abrasive sea, or the passage of time, adapting his methods for each different medium.

Leaf Cutouts (2009) recalls the silhouettes of devoured leaves. "An insect makes exquisite cutouts in a leaf," Koga reflects. "Inspired by these leaves, I began my creative process." The series was exhibited in a small gallery in Venice, California, along with a leaf cutting workshop with instruction by the artist himself.

Sea Stone (2008) is a collection of tiny vases, carved and polished from collected pebbles. The artist found inspiration on a beach in Chigasaki, Japan, where he was born. "As the way the waves abrade stones, I scrape them with careful attention." 

DriftWood (2007) also brought Koga back to the beach, where he imagined the excavation of fossils from an imaginary time—a prehistoric era when the earth was ruled by the imagined Branchasaurus, Stormasaurus, and Driftwood dinosaur.  Each piece is arranged exclusively with driftwood. "I wish to create an intermediate bridge between nature and human beings," the artist explains. For Koga, working with material materials brings revelations about nature and the artist himself: "It is always a continuous discovery and surprise."

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Leaf Cutouts (2009) © Mitsuru Koga

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Leaf Cutouts (2009) © Mitsuru Koga

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Leaf Cutouts (2009) © Mitsuru Koga

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Sea Stone (2008) © Mitsuru Koga

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Sea Stone (2008) © Mitsuru Koga

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Sea Stone (2008) © Mitsuru Koga

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Driftwood (2007) © Mitsuru Koga

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Driftwood (2007) © Mitsuru Koga

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Driftwood (2007) © Mitsuru Koga

Anna Laurent is a writer and producer of educational botanical media. Photographs from her forthcoming field guide to Los Angeles are available for exhibition and purchase at her website.

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