Yuya Hashizume was born in 1983 in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, and currently lives and works in Tokyo. In recent years, Hashizume has been attracting attention in Japan as well as in Asia and Europe for his “eyewater” series, in which his subjects, drawn against single-color backgrounds in an illustrative style reminiscent of Japanese anime, are captured at the moment when a single tear falls from their eyes.
Hashizume’s childhood fondness for drawing and creating followed him into adulthood– after graduating from vocational school, he began to work for an outdoor brand where he developed his understanding of branding and product development; he also taught himself illustration and design, acquiring enough skill to eventually join the brand’s PR department, designing their advertisements and in-store promotional materials.
His aspirations of creating original work led him to eventually move on from this job, after which he once again returned to teaching himself art, learning through trial and error in an effort to further develop his practice. While working on illustration requests from culture magazines and other such commissions, he also began to present his artworks in independently organized exhibitions.
His first independently organized exhibition, “eyewater” (Classicbowl, Tokyo, 2017), was met with great response following the opening.
Growing up within an environment of highly perfected artificial systems while at the same time also becoming an enthusiast of manga and games, Hashizume became aware of the absence of originality and the fact that even if something unique is born, it can be disseminated and transformed into a social trend in the blink of an eye. His works take advantage of this phenomenon by playing it against itself.
Using “fiction” and “anonymity” as his keywords, he creates works referencing the style of manga artist Fujiko F. Fujio, the creator of the beloved Japanese character Doraemon that Hashizume grew up with. Charmed by the rounded drawing style of the Doraemon series, he began to draw people and animals referencing this style, and the works quickly attracted attention.
Since 2018, Hashizume has held solo exhibitions across Tokyo, Bangkok, Seoul, and London, and in 2021, he presented the successful large-scale solo exhibition "eyewater SHANGHAI" at XU Gallery, Powerlong Museum, Shanghai.
Hashizume’s hometown of Okayama continues to be an important place to the artist. He continues to hold frequent exhibitions there, and aims to contribute to the local community on an ongoing basis.