A review for Art Fair Tokyo 2010

The concept, techniques, and designs of the works by Tomoe Hayama come from his background as a Japanese boy lived in 80's. The origin of Hayama's artworks is the decal pasting.

In his early carrier in 2000, Hayama started making his artworks by creating collage of the TAMIYA's model car decals. The TAMIYA model cars were popular toys for the young boys in the early 90’s - Hayama was of course, one of them back in the day. In his artworks, the decals that gave the young boys an image of the fast and strong cars are reconstructed with the sense of a youth. The series of earlier work Hayama produced, such as "Gwash", was named, "the Critical Hit". The word "Critical Hit" is come from the most Japanese popular TV game "Final Fantasy". The description of "Critical Hit" is a type of attack which gives tremendous damage to enemy.

Within these decals, Hayama found designs of Japanese characteristic point. For instance he sees the mixture in the American grandiose logotypes and Japanese traditional decorations; expressing the Japanese pop aesthetic influenced over by the American pop culture after the WWII. To those selected generation, unconsciously they were able to enjoy the Japanese-American style of a hybrid culture.

After the series of "the Critical Hit", Hayama polished this art style of "pasting" as an analogy of "painting", where artworks are made by pasting industrial marking film to a board and composed with small pieces of decals. He explains, "the way `pasting' express consists of a sense of a unique quality of the material that cannot be expressed in `painting'."

In his artwork, Hayama started to intentionally brings in the Japanese traditional painting elements. For example, the series of chicken (e.g. "FRONT") is referred to Jakuchu Ito. Jakuchu is the 18th century Japanese painter whom recently been reevaluated, known for the paintings stimulated by traditional Japanese artworks, particularly chickens. The famous work with the drawing of a chicken, "Pictures of the Colorful Realm of Living Beings" is where Hayama draws through his own interpretation. Also, the silkscreen artworks such as "Iara" and "TolnEd" are influenced by Suiboku paintings.

In recent years, the Japanese term, "Kawaii", meaning cute, which often used to describe by young Japanese girls, has expanded the border and is now used globally - no longer a Japanese domestic word. And the expression that is used for young boys like the term "Kawaii" is called "Kakkoii", referring to the term "COOL" in English.

In Hayama's artworks, the theme is simply that term itself; "Kakkoii", expressing the borderless commonality of a "COOL" sense in work.

For instance, in a piece of the skateboard, Hayama intentionally incorporated the boyish sense within the context of the American street culture. The way countless labels are sticking over another to over on the back of the skateboard deck is a technique that is originated from the skater culture.

Also the language Hayama used in the artwork is a quotation from the Japanese domestic context. For example, "God speed you" in the work "Justice" is an English word coined in Japanese from the backstreet boy's culture. It is actually Japanese way of interpreting `tagging' in the graffiti culture. Furthermore in the artwork titled "FRONT", Hayama was able to fuse the reference of Japanese traditional painting and the modem idea of "Kakkoii" together. The term "FRONT" refers to `show off' in a hip-hop term; with this, Hayama put the figure of the gang-star-rapper image on the figure of a game fowl standing in grand manner.

As describing Hayama's art style, he has developed his works though memory of childhood and the expression of "Kakkoii". He often expresses title with Japanized English, this also shows a nuance of immature boys' culture, it is the appearance of autochthony. For example, the title "TolnEd" is driven from conjuration of "Final Fantasy", the word "TolnEd" is originally from "tornado". The sound with Japanese intonation, "tornado" became "TONEDO" then clumped up to "TolnEd". English words are accepted and desired to use among Japanese boys, then it tums back to the homeland as the Japanese word.

The way Hayama presents the indigenous sense as a "Japanese boy lived in 80's" is also the way he takes a stance toward art. Having a unique career for an artist as a doctorate of the mathematics, Hayama have studied mathematics while producing artworks. He grasps the two by contrasting "Art and Mathematics" as "Unique and Universal". This to say, math undo a bow with verified proofs in logical and global way, yet beauty of art may just lying down next to someone with an uniqueness. His ingenuousness through the experiences and environment from where he was born and raised are sublimated to the original artworks.

 (text by S-des GALLERY, 2010)