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The disturbing truth and despair in the paintings of the Japanese surrealist Tetsuya Ishida
The disturbing truth and despair in the paintings of the Japanese surrealist Tetsuya Ishida
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The modern world is rapidly rushing forward, covering all the nations of the planet with a huge number of technical, virtual, innovative tools and services. And among all the virtual in many countries, and especially in Japan, they completely forgot about the person himself, considering him to be a simple cog in a complex supra-human mechanism. This global theme was raised in his work by the young Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida, whose harsh and merciless surrealism revealed the dark side of modern life.

About creativity

The artist died at 32, the tragic death cut short his life. But, during his short creative career, he managed to become not only famous in his country, he raised the global problem of humanity and made the whole world talk about himself. Each of his works is a cry from the heart. And what he loudly tried to say with his paintings is terrible, first of all, because we have already ceased to notice this "horror" and inevitably approaching catastrophe.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

But this monster is very close - this is our modernity, our everyday life, our environment, filled to the brim with the products of technical progress. And this process of depersonalization of people is felt most acutely in the land of the rising sun, where most of the country's inhabitants already feel like cogs and cogs of the system. And the worst thing is that this monster machine will soon swallow the whole world. It's only a matter of time here …

Surrealism by Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida

In the artist's paintings we see not only fear and despair, sarcasm and irony, but also the debunking of what is behind the “dead” smile of the Japanese nation. In almost every work, Isis criticizes the process of increasing mechanization of modern life, where a person is assigned an episodic role. In this process, he literally turns into a human function.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

In general, Ishida's paintings evoke not entirely pleasant sensations, nevertheless, they need to be seen in order to be imbued with the author's ideas and take a sober look at the situation in the world.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

Modern gloomy surrealism - this is how one can characterize the direction in which the Japanese artist worked. People on his canvases literally merge with conveyor belts and forklifts. Medical facilities are filled with insects and factories with rust. Japanese life and morality, the problem of adaptation of people to modern technologies, the reassessment of values ​​and the problems of self-identification became the heroes of the works of Tetsuya Ishida.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

The art of the Japanese artist speaks very frankly and directly about social problems. Ishida's paintings definitely have black humor and satire, on which he pokes fun at innovative technologies that replace basic human action.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

Critics have always noted that in his paintings both critical realism and surrealism, the outer world of banal everyday life and inner psychologism seem to converge. They are also called surreal and fantastic, but in fact they are the harbingers of tomorrow.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

About characters

The main characters of his works are often some creatures who can hardly be called people. Rather, they are humanoid creatures made up of different parts: half-human, half-machine, half-animal. Often the main characters of the paintings are school boys and their teachers.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

In addition, there is a central character endowed with a certain portrait resemblance to the author himself.This allowed him to add an extra touch to his work. The artist, having created such a type, used it for the effect of repetition, the sameness. And thanks to him, the artist seemed to get used to what he painted, passing with his heroes through certain tests. A particularly characteristic feature of this image is the eyes - full of despair and at the same time emptiness, detachment and resignation.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

Ishida seems to be comparing employees to the gears of a large mechanism, which have no feelings and emotions. After refueling, the employee suppresses all emotions in himself and goes to serve his superiors. The artist also broadly raises the problem of school education, where children become hostages of the teacher's authority.

Surrealism by Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida Surrealism by Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida

About the artist

Tetsuya Ishida was born in 1973 in the port town of Yaizu, Japan. His father sat in the country's parliament, and his mother was an ordinary housewife. Tetsuya began drawing at a young age, and already at the age of 11, the boy's works were noted at the Manga on Human Rights Children's Drawing Festival (manga - Japanese comics).

Tetsuya Ishida is a Japanese surrealist painter

At the age of 18, the young man applied to the Musashino University of the Arts in Tokyo and entered the Faculty of Design, despite all the prohibitions of his parents, who did not share his hobbies. They strongly insisted that the young man become a teacher or a chemist. This pressure did not stop the artist, but was reflected in his future paintings. And the parents, never resigned to the choice of their son, refused to help him in his new life.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

While still a student, Ishida met the future director Isamu Hirabayashi. Together, they created a multimedia group to collaborate on film and art projects, which eventually turned into an ordinary graphic studio. Then the artist decided to leave the project altogether, preferring the path of a lone artist. And already in 1995, his works were noticed at the 6th Hitotsubu exhibition, where the author received the Grand Prix. In the same year, the work of the Japanese artist was awarded the prestigious Mainichi Design Award.

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Surrealism by Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida

During his short creative career, Tetsuya received six First Prizes, including three Grand Prix, at the largest exhibitions of contemporary art in Japan. In 1996, Tetsui Ishida's first solo exhibition took place in Tokyo. Subsequently, Isis's works were exhibited at numerous solo and group exhibitions (including in the Christie's salon in 1998).

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

And in May 2005, Ishida was hit by a train. He died on the spot, weeks before his 32nd birthday. After this incident, many began to talk about a possible suicide, taking into account the theme of his paintings. However, the official version named an accident as the cause of death.

Dark surrealism from Tetsuya Ishida

Creative heritage

In less than ten years of his artistic career, Tetsuya Ishida painted 186 paintings. A large number of unpublished works were discovered in his home after his death. As is often the case, early death and the mystery of death spurred interest in the artist's work of dexterous and perspicacious art managers who were engaged in the sale of his paintings. So, in 2006, at the Christie's auction in Hong Kong, two works by the Japanese surrealist were exhibited, the first of which was sold for sixty-five thousand, and the second - for more than a hundred thousand dollars. Two years later, the same painting was sold at the Asian Contemporary Art Auction for three hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. And this is just the beginning …

Surrealism by Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida

In 2009, the artist's family was honored with a national award for scientific and creative achievements. It is curious that, despite Ishida's successes and his wide recognition in the art world, the mother and father did not approve of the choice of their son during his lifetime. Parents found his paintings too gloomy and frightening … “I like the paintings of artists who sincerely believe that every stroke of their brush will make the world a little better,” Isis said and tried to be so himself.

And in conclusion, the works of Tetsuya Ishida carry a disturbing truth, which gives rise to a feeling of oppression, isolation, detachment. And by and large, such a confrontation between man and machine can be found almost everywhere, in every country.And that is why, the paintings of the Japanese artist are incredibly relevant and affect every citizen of the planet.

Continuing the topic, read our publication: Cartoons of the modern world, mired in digital technologies, the Internet, social networks.

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