"H.R.Giger x Sorayama": A Blockbuster Closes and Opens a Year in Tokyo
We write so often about imagination and "universe-creators" on this site and in our magazine. When two giants of deeply original art visions are brought together, it's rare. In the case of Swiss legend H.R. Giger and the resurgent Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama, these two are the pillars of the creative world who have changed the way we look at so much of what we see in fine art, pop-culture, sci-fi, sexual imagery, desire and how we portray that into an artistic practice. When Giger passed away in 2014, I remember thinking to myself that Sorayama was one of the last of a rare breed; that bridge between fantasy and film, fine art and cheeky perversion.
Through January 11, 2021, the Parco Museum in Tokyo is hosting a blockbuster, two-artist exhibition co-curated by Alessio Ascari and Nanzuka's Shinji Nanzuka, bringing together for the very first time the work of Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama and Swiss artist H.R.Giger. The exhibition will travel to Shinsaibashi Parco Event Hall Osaka after Parco Museum Tokyo.
Even though they share core traits as image makers, H.R.GIGER x SORAYAMA showcases just how different they were in getting to their final product. The dark dystopia of Giger feels, literally, alienating and emotionally distant. Sorayama's bright and bold imagery feels almost optimistic, a wink-and-a-nod to a future of sexuality that brims with salaciousness. As they both emerged in the 1970s as giants of art, the curators capture a unique similarity of the artists: "At the very core of their practice lies a similar concern: an obsessive investigation of AI, eternal life, and the fusion of organic and apparatus. Gynoids (female androids) are predominant subjects, conjuring the post-human and the apotheosis of the woman to reveal an underlying tension between life, death, power and desire."
This is truly work at the core of the early years of Juxtapoz, a bridge between the Pop-Surrealism and comic book aesthetic coming from the West Coast and the visionaries of central Europe and Japan. Even though we can't fly to see this, just to see these works together in photos is a special treat, and a landmark presentation to behold. —Evan Pricco