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Tomonori Toyofuku was born on October 24, 1925, in Kurume, on the island of Kiushu, Japan. He attended Kokugakuin University until 1943, taking Ancient Japanese literature. In 1946 he studied wood sculpture under Tominaga Chodo. He exhibited his work for the first time in 1950 with the avant-garde Japanese group Shinseisaku-Kyokai, he later became a member in 1957. His work combined modern sensibility with the traditional ancient Japanese concept of form. His first solo exhibition was held at the Tokyo Gallery in 1960 and during the same year, he was invited to show at the Venice Biennale.
Throughout the following decade Toyofuku had many shows in Europe; in 1961 he participated in the Copenhagen International Art and Architecture competition; in 1962, he exhibited at the Galleria del Cavallino in Venice and the following year at the Galleria del Naviglio. In 1964 he took part in the Venice Biennale again, this time with a room dedicated entirely to his work. The same year saw his receipt of the William Frew Memorial Prize at the Carnegie International, held at the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh. He exhibited at the 1965 São Paulo Bienal and two years later took part in the Concorso Internazionale del Bronzetto in Padua, winning the second prize.
Toyofuku has found a unique abstract form of expression through bronze, mahogany, and stone sculptures, piercing them with egg-shaped motifs, repeated with endless variations. His designs include everything from jewelery to great public monuments, such as the granite fountain in Kurume, executed in 1983, and a commemorative metal sculpture in the port of Fukuoka, completed in 1997. His sculptures now form part of major public and private collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; and the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Rome. In 1960 Tomonori Toyofuku moved to Milan. He died in Fukuoka on May 18, 2019.