Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present Yuya Hashizume’s solo exhibition “eyewater -everybody feels the same-” from August 20 to September 17, 2022. The exhibition marks the artist’s second solo presentation with the gallery, and will feature a selection of seven new painting works.
“eyewater” is a series that Yuya Hashizume has worked on from early on in artistic practice, which has continued to develop and deepen in expression over the years. The series of portraits depicts the moment when a single tear falls from the eyes of his subjects who are painted against a single-color background. Why indeed are these people in tears?
As Japan entered its period of high economic growth in the wake of postwar reconstruction efforts following WWII, everyday life had flourished, and people began to variously envision and contemplate what the future ahead may look like. Hashizume’s teary-eyed portraits, while referencing the methods and styles by which the manga works of the time were depicted as well as the future that their stories had imagined, question whether there indeed exists a future that no on can imagine in today’s world where it is technically possible to envision the future with more ease, and if so, what kind of narratives may unfold.
Drawing ties to themes such as life, conflict, peace, and the natural environment, the new works featured in this exhibition, present various issues that must be considered and discussed in light of our current times in ways more directly than ever before. While the subjects in the “eyewater” series had until now often been depicted in profile or turned slightly to the side, in the new works the figures face the front as if to directly confront the viewer. The exhibition’s subtitle, “everybody feels the same,” appears to correspond with this air of definitiveness and clarity, yet what exactly does the word “same” refer to in this context? Today’s world finds itself constantly changing in ways that “deviate from conventions of the ideal” as diverse values continue to be taken up for discussion. Through his work, the artist appears to pose questions to us viewers, encouraging us to think about the nature of each individual’s emotions in the midst of such circumstances, as well as what people feel, and the extent of those feelings.
Yuya Hashizume was born in 1983 in Okayama Prefecture, and currently lives and works in Tokyo. A self-taught artist, in recent years he has been attracting attention for his series of works, “eyewater,” which depicts the moment when a single tear falls from the eyes of his subjects who are painted against a single-color background using illustrative techniques reminiscent of Japanese anime. What could be observed in the backdrop of his work is the idea of creating prime examples of fiction while giving rise to certain gaps and discrepancies in experience between it and the original in the context of our present era, in which the absence of originality serves as a catalyst for generating new environments through the system of information disclosure and exchange centering on SNS platforms. Since 2016, he has also participated in exhibitions overseas such as London, Hong Kong, and Seoul while presenting independently organized shows in Tokyo and Okayama, among other cities.