Hirotsune Tashima 田島 弘庸


Tashima’s work is heavily tinged with American pop art trends. The grotesque human figures’ expressions with crisp, vivid colors are shaped with clay and colored with glaze, but drawn in a unique “tone” not found in Japan. His works express a world full of black humor, sometimes with close ups of “each scene” with words, against a nonchalant image of everyday life, many of which feature a self-portrait modeled after Tashima’s own face. The reason for this is to look back at his own identity behind coupled mirrors as a person, who lived a long time in the foreign land of America, and by doing so, turns this identity into a motif for the “strangeness” and “empathy” that he feels. It is curious when looking at these expressions that they appear both American and Japanese, but it is Tashima’s intention that the metaphors within his works are effective, metaphors that originate from the cultural gaps between Japan and America. The various scenes that appear like comedy at a glance are full of irony and familiarity related to social problems lurking within American pop culture, Japanese culture as seen from America, and Japanese habits—all visible by reexamining the self.