“Hour of the dawn” (2019) by Moe Nakamura | all photos courtesy Gallery Tsubaki

Mysterious. Vulnerable. Adorable. These are just a few of the words one might use to describe the work of sculptor Moe Nakamura. The 31-year old Tokyo-based artist creates imaginative sculptures of child-like figures, carving each out of single blocks of wood.

After obtaining her MFA from Joshibi University of Art and Design in 2012, Nakamura has been showing her work in Japan and Asia for the last several years. Her latest exhibition, “remember you,” is currently on display at Gallery Tsubaki in Tokyo through September 7, 2019.

Each of the sculptures seem to portray a child-like figure in a costume or mask that they wear as if they were born with them. Most are the size of a child: between 2.5 and 3 ft. They are either propped up on pedestals or, in some cases, low to the ground and you must kneel to get up close. One piece, “Hour to the dawn,” stands out in its towering scale. At over 6 ft tall the sculpture, which depicts the classic prank of children trying to appear taller by standing on each other’s shoulders behind a screen, eclipses the height of most gallery visitors.

I was overcome with an urge to adopt one of these children and take them home with me but, alas, they had already all found homes. But the exhibition is up through September 7, 2019 if you would like to see them in person. You can also follow Moe Nakamura on Instagram.

“Cloud Child” (2019)
“Growth” (2019)
“I’m nobody” (2019)
“Thinks” (2018)