Monday, October 24, 2011

Interview with Teiji Hayama

q)Please tell us your name and where you practice.

a)Hi, my name is Teiji Hayama, I live and work in Switzerland.

q) Why do you make art?


To make people feel different ways and think about different kind of issues …

q) How do you work?

a)Hard I guess!

Technically speaking, mainly with oil, I have also worked on a fibreglass doll.

q) What´s your background?

a)I grew up in Kumamoto, Japan, where I studied in a Protestant Christian school. At the age of 18 I left Japan to go to London where I studied in Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

q) What role does the artist have in society?

a)To create a catharsis of emotions.

I think art is a different method or tool of communication, it is a language.

q) What was a seminal experience for you ?

a)I grew up in a big family of artists, I had the chance to be surrounded by musicians, painters writers and architect, furthermore I studied in a Protestant Christian school with a Shinto environment , to evolve in this kind of melting-pot definitely had some impact.

q) Has your practice changed over time ?

a)Yes, it has.

q) What art do you most identify with ?

a)Medieval, symbolism and renaissance art.

q) What´s your strongest memory of your childhood ?

a)To go to the very first funeral of my grandfather, it was very dramatic as a kid. Japanese funeral are very different from any other funeral in the world. It was the whole part of the cremation which was disturbing. The coffin is placed on a tray in the crematorium. The family witnesses the sliding of the body into the cremation chamber. Then,after an hour, the relatives return and pick the bones out of the ashes and transfer them to the urn using large chopsticks, two relatives sometimes holding the same bone at the same time with their chopsticks.

q) What themes do you pursue?

a)Religion, adolescence, innocence, sexuality, nudity, fragility, mythology.

q) Describe a real life experience that inspired you.

a)The human condition.

q) What´s your most embarrassing moment ?

a)Not worth explaining.

q) What jobs have you done other than being an artist ?

a)Fashion designer, illustrator for fashion and multicultural magazines, making Children’s picture books, fashion model, so far only artistic jobs…

q) What responses have you had to your work?

a)I have noticed that for some people my work can be really disturbing, religion, sexuality, adolescence, teen pregnancy, are right in the middle of polemical topics. When you want people to discover what you do, your work has to go public, in that way you have to accept and be aware of any good and bad criticism, it is always interesting to read and hear people’s opinion.

q) What do you dislike about the artworld ?


q) What research do you do ?

a)A lot really, curiously some research start before sleeping, I try to shape the expression, face and body of the figure I will draw the next day.

q) What is your dream project?

a)To reach a certain level where I could afford having only one big solo show a year in order to have enough time to create!

q) What´s the best piece of advice you have been given ?

a)Never give up!

q) What couldn’t you do without?

a)My job, my eyes, my hands.

q) What makes you angry?


q) What is your worst quality?


q) Dogs or Cats ?


A cat inside an atelier full of canvas can get pretty nasty...

q) Making art is a lot like being on lsd. Know what I mean ?

a)I don’t know I have never been on lsd!

Personnally, painting requires a lot of concentration and not some kind of visual hallucinations.

q) What does “ copy” mean to you ?

a)An imitation or reproduction of an original, a duplicate.

q) What´s your favorite cuss word ?

a)None really

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