Kazuhito Takadoi

Minimal yet opulent, the craft pieces by UK-based Japanese talent Kazuhito Takadoi turn grass into art

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

Kazuhito Takadoi isn’t a garden designer. He isn’t a horticulturist. Nor is he a florist. An art-loving plant enthusiast, Takadoi weaves, embroiders and sews blades of grass into paper and turns them into something very different. With an eye for combining elegant design with a fascination for plants, Takadoi tends to his allotment – and then tends to his craft.

‘I grew up on the outskirts of Nagoya in Japan, which at the time was still quite rural,’ says Takadoi. ‘My grandparents were keen gardeners, so I picked up my interest from them. From a very young age I knew that I wanted to do something creative connected with nature.’

ABOVE: 'Akari' (Light bubinga)
BELOW: 'Kyousei 2' (Symbiosis 2) 

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ABOVE: 'Oeda' (Bough)
BELOW: 'Shikaku' (Square)

Having studied horticulture in Japan and the US before relocating to the UK, Takadoi enrolled on an Art and Garden Design degree at Leeds Metropolitan University. ‘I remember visiting National Trust gardens on a trip to England when I was 17,’ he recalls. ‘I was fascinated by plants and always wanted to study here. It was perfect for me because it was a chance to learn about environmental art.’

Citing his influences as a cross between the formality of Japanese floral art and landscape artists such as the UK's Andy Goldsworthy, Takadoi turned his creative skills to paper. He began making sculptural Christmas cards for friends using natural materials he’d collected. ‘This was just a hobby for me,’ he explains. ‘But one day a gallery asked me if I would consider recreating a piece on a larger scale.’ 

In 2003, Takadoi set up his studio. Today, he uses hawthorn twigs with gold leaf and spiky grasses (grown and handpicked from his garden) to create circular compositions inspired by the woodlands surrounding his birthplace Nagoya. After the dried grass blades are sewn through the paper, they change colour subtly, mirroring seasonal shifts. Takadoi also enjoys playing with shadows and light in his works. ‘Experimentation for me is an ongoing process,’ he explains. ‘I am always on the lookout for a new material that I can incorporate into my work.’ He loves preserving nature and bringing it into the house. ‘Most of what I use are materials that would end up on the compost heap. I like to make something with them – and keep them forever.’
kazuhitotakadoi.com   jaggedart.com