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Hajime Sorayama

1947 Ehime, Japan

8 Works exhibited

Current location

Tokyo, Japan

Represented by

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  • About the Artist
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Awards

Sorayama was born in 1947 in Imabari, Ehime prefecture in Japan where he had finished Imabari Kita High School. Early interested in drawing, he started to create images inspired by Playboy pin-ups. After he read a book by Makoto Oda I’ll go and see everything (Nandemo Mite yaro) in which the writer describes his travels through Europe and Asia, Sorayama decided to study English literature and Greek language at Shikoku Gakuin University. Founding the school paper named Pink Journal, its content was criticized by both teachers and other students, so he moved to the Chubi Central Art School in Tokyo to study art.

After his graduation at the age of only 21, he started to work for an advertising agency and, gaining enough experience, he decided to try as a freelance illustrator in 1972. His first robot appeared in 1978 when his friend, designer Hara Koichi asked him to draw something based on C-3PO from Star Wars. Managing to coordinate his work in fine art, illustration, and industrial design, Sorayama separated this three kinds of expression, considering illustration as something not connected with emotion, but with experience that comes from logical thinking. “Art is a kind of tenacity, an insistence upon asserting your own originality. By contrast, superrealism deals with the technical issue of how close one can get to one’s object.”  Hajime Sorayama created his first robot in 1978.

In 1983, he published his first book Sexy Robot which enabled his organic robotic forms to become famous and recognizable worldwide. Starting with the ideas from pin-up art, he represented his so-called gynoids, half-metal, half-human creatures. The first book was followed by the second one, Pin-up, in the same manner. His oeuvre now includes numerous books published throughout his career.

Creating highly realistic depictions in latex and leather, their popularity grew, so he started to make illustrations for the pages of Penthouse magazine and Playboy TV, television special dedicated to his art. Besides paper pieces, in 1985 he released the Illustration Video, which announced his later engagement for the films Brain Dead (1992), Timecop (1994), and Space Trucker (1995). Sorayama designed also the trading cards, limited edition prints, covers for Aerosmith’s 2001 album and produced an initial idea for what would later become Sony’s dog-like robotic pet, the AIBO which went to market in 1999.

Respected as a founder of airbrush technique, Sorayama’s hyper-realistic artful depictions of sensual metallic qualities of robots are firmly established his reputation. “In pursuit of hyper-realism, I use the airbrush in a way that naturally depicts minute details of human skin, lips, eyeballs, hair, even individual body hair, or the feel of leather or silk clothes, the metallicity of the robot, the reflection of light.”

SOLO SHOWS:

2018    
"Sorayama Explosion ?", NANZUKA, Tokyo, Japan
"editions", AISHONANZUKA, HongKong, China
2017    
"Sawasdee Sexy Robot by Hajime Sorayama", EchoOne ArtSpace, Bangkok, Thailand
"Club Sorayama", LANDMARK, Hong Kong, China
"空山基的械慾論", Wrong Gallery Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
2016    
"Sorayama", Jacob Lewis Gallery, New York, NY, USA
"An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine.", NANZUKA, Tokyo, Japan
2015    
AISHONANZUKA, Hong Kong, China
Little High, Tokyo, Japan
FIFTY24SF GALLERY, San Francisco, CA, USA
2014    
Stussy Guest Artist Series - HAJIME SORAYAMA Exhibition Curated by NANZUKA, STUSSY HARAJUKU CHAPTER, Tokyo, Japan
2013    
AISHONANZUKA, Hong Kong, China
Hajime Sorayama x graniph Exhibition, graniph Harajuku Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2011  
"Hajime Sorayama : 1970-2010", Gering & Lopeg Gallery, New York, NY, USA
"NEO DISCIPLINE", Span Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"Neo Japonism & Obsession", TOKYO CULTUART by BEAMS/B GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan
2010    
NANZUKA UNDERGROUND, Tokyo, Japan
Span Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2008    
Opera Gallery, New York, NY, USA
WEAM, Miami, FL, USA
2007    
"EROTOVISION", Mondo Bizzarro Gallery, Rome, Italy
2005    
Hysteric Mini 20th Anniversary Art Exhibition, Tokyo/Osaka/HongKong
Show Room, New York, NY, USA
2003    
Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo/Osaka, Japan
2002    
Bape Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1999    
Tamara Bane Gallery, Los Angels, CA, USA
1998    
Tamara Bane Gallery, Los Angels, CA, USA
ECR, Cologne, Germany
1994    
UP'S Gallery
Tamara Bane Gallery, Los Angels, CA, USA
the Castlegate Hotel and Conference Center, Atlanta, GA, USA
1988    
The Seibu Department Store Gallery, Hakodate, Japan

 

GROUP SHOWS:

2019    
"Span Art Gallery Collection 2019", Span Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"MUZAN -cruel and beauty-", VANILLA GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan
"I draw", D MUSEUM, Seoul, South Korea
"PEOPLE", Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, USA
"Taipei Dangdai", Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Taipei, Taiwan
2018    
"AAF - AUTOMOBILE ART FEDERATION vol.7", gallery YAMAWAKI, Tokyo, Japan
2017    
"Exhibition of Mythical beast IV", TOKYO KOTSU KAIKAN, Tokyo, Japan
"Alice 2017", ROPPONGI STRIPE'S SPACE, Tokyo, Japan
"Blood and Roses", SPAN ART GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan
"AUTOMOBILE ART FEDERATION(AAF)" YAMAWAKI GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan
"ARRIVAL XX PLANET THE COLLECTION - EXHIBITION OF KAWS × MURAKAMI TAKASHIʼS WORKS"Je Fine Art Gallery Shanghai, Shanghai
The Encyclopedia of Masamichi Katayama “Life is hard... Let's go shopping.”, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"THE UNIVERSE AND ART", ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM, Singapore
"Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine", Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany
"The Encyclopedia of Masamichi Katayama", Tokyo Opera City Art Galleryz, Tokyo, Japan
"TENGAI 3.0"(Traveling exhibition), hpgrp GALLERY TOKYO,Tokyo, Japan
"頹恋期", Mangasick, Taiwan
2016    
"Desire", Moore Building, Miami, FL, USA
"TENGAI 3.0", hpgrp GALLERY NEW YORK, New York, NY, USA
"The Universe and Art", Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
"Cosmic Fusion 4", O Museum, Tokyo, Japan
"TRIBUTE TO KOW YOKOYAMA", TOKYO CULTUART by BEAMS, Tokyo, Japan
"ALLOY & PEACE", Spiral, Tokyo, Japan
2015    
"Unorthodox", The Jewish Museum, New York, NY, USA
"Exhibition of Mythical beast Ⅱ", Bunkamura, Tokyo, Japan
"MEDICOM TOY EXHIBITION'15", PARCO MUSEUM, Tokyo, Japan
"The Aesthetics of Fantasy - Japanese Erotica in Contemporary Art", Bunkamura, Tokyo, Japan
"Here is ZINE tokyo 10", Tokyo Cultuart BEAMS, Tokyo, Japan
"FELIX THE CAT - Cats Out Of The Bag", SLOW CULTURE, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2014    
LEATHER JAPAN 2014, New York, NY, USA
Amalia Ulman + Hajime Sorayama Exhibition, London, UK
"JAPAN EROTICA", Musee de lerotisme, Paris, France
"with Hello Kitty", MDP GALLERY/SPACE M, Tokyo, Japan
"PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! KILL!", Vanilla Gallery/Kinokuniya Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"O's story", billiken Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"atrocity beauty", Vanilla Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
HORIYOSHI THE THIRD x Hajime Sorayama, Galleria Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
KITAHARA COLLECTION, Takamatsu city museum of Art, Takamatsu, Japan
Span Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2013    
"The Pop Surrealism Show", Opera Gallery, New York, NY, USA
"UKIYOE Roman Exhibition", Span Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"ALICE Fantasy tale exhibition", Bunkamura, Tokyo, Japan
2012    
"Cosmic Fusion III", O museum, Tokyo, Japan
The ObsessionArt 5th Anniversary Exhibition, The Gallery in Cork Street, London, UK
"Artist's book by Treville 1985-2012", Kinokuniya Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"Monster", billiken Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"Japanese Erotic Artsts", Jinbocho Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2011    
"MEDICOM TOY 15th ANNIVERSARY", PARCO MUSEUM, Tokyo, Japan
"Here is ZINE tokyo 2", Tokyo Cultuart BEAMS, Tokyo, Japan
Hamamatsu Municipal Museum of Art 40th Anniversary Special Exhibition, Hamamatsu Municipal Museum of Art, Shizuoka, Japan
"Märchenism", The Tobu Department Store Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2010    
"CODE : EROTICA", Bunkamura, Tokyo, Japan
KITAHARA COLLECTION, Mori Arts Center Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2009    
"Almost There" Time Tunnel Series Vol.29, G8, Tokyo, Japan
2008    
"CARNIVORA", FUSE Gallery, New York, NY / L'Imagerie Gallery, Los Angeles, CA / CPOP Gallery, Detroit, MI, USA
2007    
20th Anniversary Exhibitions "Graphics & Messages", GGG, Tokyo, Japan
2006    
Ginza Recruit Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2005    
"Winter Invitational", Art At Large, New York, NY, USA
1997    
"Forum--Gelande", Castrop-Rauxel, Germany
1989    
"Ferrari Hall", Munich, Germany

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS:

Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Smithsonian Institute of Technology Museum. Washington DC, USA
World Erotic Art Museum, Miami, USA
US Library of Congress. Washington DC, USA

2001    
Inventor's Award - Asahi newspaper
1999    
Good Design Grand Prize Award
Media Art Festival Grand Prize Award
1996    
Vargas Award

Works by Hajime Sorayama

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