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Known for his distinct blend of retro-style futurism and eroticism, Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama has remained highly sought after for his expertise with metallic textures and applying them to the human form as well as the apparel and accessories that cover it. Here, he talks about translating his style across different mediums, his recent collaboration with British Knights and of course, his views on sex and the future.
“The big question was how we could capture the metallic textures in my work through the shoes.”
You often paint clothing with metallic and reflective qualities, giving off a distinctive image of the near future. Where did that concept originate?
I feel that metal and reflections can never fuse with the human form, so it’s a fantasy of a future that can never be; an unreachable dream. Yet, I long for that in reality, so I can only paint it.
What kind of similarities exist between creating a piece of art and the footwear designs you’ve made with BK?
Both give off the illusion of wearing metallic textures while making it slightly more tangible. I guess I was trying to take the shoes and through them, find the same idea of adding practical dimension to flat surfaces, an illusion I create with my paintings.
What did you want to convey with your artwork?
I enjoy capturing the light reflections and transparency through paint.
Were there any specific challenges you faced in properly translating your art into a new form on this footwear collection?
The big question was how we could capture the metallic textures in my work through the shoes without making it too harsh. Because the digital stuff is a bit beyond me, it certainly was a challenge for the crew.
“I’d always wanted to try making sneakers using highly reflective materials, so this was a perfect chance.”
How did the partnership with BK Knights initially develop? What drew you to the partnership?
Darren Romanelli, the British Knights Creative Director, was talking to NANZUKA gallery, which represents me about working with me on a project. I’d always wanted to try making sneakers using highly reflective materials, so this was a perfect chance. I thought I would’ve been foolish to not take it
What are your thoughts on the intersection of art and fashion/footwear and how do you see the two worlds co-existing?
They’re all aspects of culture that are very close to the human body, so they’re constantly stimulating each other. Their intersection is completely natural.
How do you think the art world has changed since your career first started?
I’ve been painting since I was a kid and that same curiosity remains with me today. I have no idea about the rest of the world, though.
How does the present compare to what you pictured as a child?
The present is totally different from the future I envisioned. I didn’t expect a life so full of excitement, but my income is definitely not proportional to that!
To see more of Sorayama’s extensive work, check out his website.