yasuaki onishi's metallic stone curtain explores boundaries between humans & nature

yasuaki onishi's metallic stone curtain explores boundaries between humans & nature


stone and fence by Yasuaki Onishi 


On the occasion of the Kyoto Steam 2022 exhibition, Japanese artist Yasuaki Onishi has teamed up with metal foil & powder manufacturer Fukuda to create Stone and Fence, a suspended sculpture made of metallic riverbed stones. On view at the Kyocera Museum of Art, in Japan, the work incorporates various materials forming a circular curtain that hangs from the ceiling and encloses guests in its center. By rendering visible boundaries between inside and outside, Onishi has created a uniquely tranquil installation attempting to investigate the relationship between humans and the natural world, as well as the concept of time. 

stone and fence 1

all images by Hyogo Mugyuda



a curtain of riverbed stones


In Stone and Fence, Yasuaki Onishi (see more here) attempts to recreate an overall image of a riverbed, by using stone forms that symbolize the accumulation of time. Volcanic rocks originate as magma inside the earth, solidify and change shape as they are gradually eroded by the flow of water and sediment in a rive. In this way, they are analogous to the outcomes of trial and error by a company that has engaged with society over the course of its history, and with the process of producing metal foil powder.


The stones of a riverbed, which under natural conditions spread horizontally following the topography of the earth’s surface, are composed vertically by artificial boundaries such as fences or lines of columnar structures. Stones washed into a riverbed are cast with copper foil to show their outer and inner morphology, in a process that reconfigures and restores them to the vast forms from whence they originated, revealing the volumes and amounts of time of their past and future erosion. The simple approach of covering a stone with copper foil and removing the stone to leave its shape implies that stones are only partially reproducible, and there are some things beyond our understanding. Viewers can see the castings from either side, changing positions and encountering boundaries between inside and outside, back and front that are indeterminate by their very nature. The copper foil is only 18 microns thick and has been specially provided without any treatment so that rust will accumulate.

stone and fence 2



stone and fence 7

stone and fence 3

stone and fence 4

stone and fence 5



project info:


name: Stone and Fence
designer: Yasuaki Onishi × Fukuda Metal Foil & Powder Co., Ltd.
exhibition name: KYOTO STEAM 2022
venue: Higashiyama Cube, Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, Japan

dimensions: H402×W600×D600cm
materials: copper foil, iron, other


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom

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