Studio visit: Hajime Sorayama

Entering Hajime Sorayama's studio, oversaturated with images of naked flesh, lingerie trophies, sex toys, piles of picture books, action figures and king size chewing gum packs, is like dipping into a wet teen's dream. Once your eyes adjust and you notice strict color coding of an extensive artist's library it suddenly becomes clear—what appears to be a stream of unconsciousness at first is in fact a very well orchestrated hoax. Just like in Sorayama's works, there is always a layer of pragmatic calculation underneath a provocative surface.

 

—Why National Geographic can show animals copulating while there are so many restrictions on showing people do the same thing?!

 

—Sex and violence are the primal human instincts—the latter often leading to war. Which one is worse, murder or sex? I say murder. Christians have gone on crusades killing millions in the name of God, but they act righteous when it comes to sex. People may view my works as pornographic, but to me they are the criticisms of society.

 

—I'm interested in the underground culture and taboos, but I want to make them appealing to the viewer. If I leave the subcultural context as is it can be easily rejected.

 

—I'm most inspired by cheap novels and the graffiti on toilet walls, by the blatancy of it.

 

—I still draw robots occasionally, but not much anymore. If I made a hit once doesn't mean I have to repeat it over and over again.

 

—I always draw women, even drawing robots.

 

—I consider AIBO to be handicapped! I designed it to suit the technology available at the time.

 

—My favorite fetish? Money!

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