In the art world, some of the most enduring pieces are those with a certain haunting quality. From Edvard Munch’s The Scream to Picasso’s Guernica, so many of the works of art that stick with you are mysterious… and unsettling.

Yet in the natural world, you don’t always expect (or want) to come across the same kind of haunting or unsettling feeling. But if you were to stroll through the forests of Japan and stumble upon the work of artist Nagato Iwasaki, your worst fears might just come true.

So, what is it about his works that make them so beautifully haunting? Just take a look…

Imagine going on a peaceful hike through the Japanese woods only to suddenly stumble upon a pair of bizarre figures. After getting over the initial shock, you’d probably have some questions. How did they get there? What are they? That’s precisely what could happen if you were to run into the mysterious works of Nagato Iwasaki.

Nagato is a Japanese artist and sculptor whose best pieces are usually found deep in the woods, appearing as though they’re walking on their own. Inspired by the human body, the sculptor uses driftwood to make these infinitely haunting works of masterful art.

These unique sculptures are, without a doubt, the sort of art pieces that you’d only love to examine in the daylight. In the dark? Not so much! Just imagine encountering these haunting, eerie pieces of art alone at night! They only get more eerily fascinating the longer you look at them…

It goes without saying that Nagato’s bizarre humanoids would frighten any unsuspecting person wandering through the forest. In just the right light, these creatures might even appear to be real monsters roaming the forest.

All of his humanoid sculptures come in varying shapes and sizes, but Nagato is sure to make each of them worthy of your time and attention. He even places some of them in the water to show how people would normally go about their day in the woods.

Some believe Nagato’s figures resemble forest spirits, or even zombies. You could certainly imagine them as the antagonists in a horror film, right? These would most definitely give lots of people nightmares without so much as trying.


The fact that they’re faceless is, perhaps, what makes them particularly haunting. The lack of emotion also lends to the eerie feeling that you can’t help but feel while examining Nagato’s work up close.

In daylight, it’s easy to see the stunning attention to detail that he paid to each and every individual sculpture. They truly have the shape and size of real humans. There’s the hands and feet, but more importantly, toes and fingers, too.

It’s important to know that they can be perceived in a number of ways from a distance. From afar, this one in particular could look like any stripped tree trunk. But up close, it’s the partial form of a Nagato humanoid sculpture. So spooky and cool!


Like all art, there’s more than one way to view this particular installation. It’s all open to your own interpretation. Whether you think his work is extremely scary or unbelievably beautiful—or both—there’s no denying Nagato’s talent!

Wow… those really are somehow creepy and gorgeous all at once. If you’d like to see more of Nagato’s work, visit his website here.

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