NANZUKA is pleased to announce “Sorayama Explosion ?” an exhibition of new works by Hajime Sorayama (1947-). This show marks the artist’s third presentation with the Tokyo gallery, as the first time in two years of his new works to be shown at the gallery. Read an excerpt of our 2014 interview with Sorayama here.
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Hajime Sorayama graduated from Chubi Central Art School in 1969, and had initially spent some time working with an advertising company. Since becoming freelance in 1972, he has established his position as a legendary artist both within Japan and abroad, armed with his astounding sense of realistic expressional techniques. Sorayama’s extensive oeuvre that centers upon an on-going pursuit for beauty regarding the human body and the machine has continued to receive high international acclaim, and his signature body of work entitled, the “Sexy Robot” series (1978-) had served to established his world-wide reputation. In 1999, he won the Good Design Award (Ministry of Trade and Industry) and the Media Arts Festival Grand Prize (Agency of Cultural Affairs) for his work with Sony on the concept design for their entertainment robot ‘AIBO.’ In 2001 the first generation ‘AIBO’ was added to the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Sorayama is also renown for his collaboration with internationally famous rock band Aerosmith for the artwork on the cover of their 2001 album, ‘Just Push Play.’ In recent years, Sorayama’s works have been presented in exhibitions including, “Unorthodox” (The Jewish Museum, New York, 2015), “Desire” (by Larry Gagosian and Jeffery Deitch, Moore building Miami, 2016), “The Universe and Art” (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2016, Art Science Museum,Singapore, 2017), and his participation in a large scale group show “Cool Japan” at Tropen Museum in Amsterdam is scheduled in September, 2018.
Sorayama continues to receive respect from creators and artists across the world as the godfather of realistic expression thorough his use of the airbrush technique. His 1983 publication “SEXY ROBOT” had generously described the process of painting robots through a series of graphic explanations, and has since been distributed and referenced as a textbook in various art schools throughout the globe. As a result, the influences of Sorayama’s works extend far beyond the boundaries of Japan’s commercial art scene, presenting an impact on a diverse array of media from Hollywood films, the world’s street art and to the realm of fine art.
Through their precise forms, the robots that Sorayama depicts embody the human impulse of pursuing beauty. At the same time, by their own nature, they encompass various important themes of contemporary society such as boundaries of race, eternal life, and the fusion of technology and beauty. As a result of the sophistication of AI and the development of mechanical engineering, the coexistence of robots and human beings has become a real topic at the present time. Sorayama’s works have come to be discussed in this manner, such as in its relation to the 2015 film “Ex Machina” directed by Alex Garland, which illustrates the protagonist’s empathy towards a “beautiful female robot.”
The exhibition will feature Sorayama’s new human-scale sculpture and new paintings including the one tributes to the ‘Metropolis’ produced by Fritz Lang in 1972, which is one of the god mother of Sorayama’s Sexy Robot series. An opening reception with the artist in attendance will be held on Sat 7th July.