Tokyo Damage Report

interview: artist Hayama Tomoe

Hayama Tomoe Interview

at the GEISAI 10 art show, I met Hayama Tomoe. He was nice enough to let me interview him. Tomoe-san does not have a website, but if you want to see more of his wonderful collage work, you can order a book from him. The books are hand-made! If you want to order, or just tell him you enjoyed his art, you can email him at . . . hayamatomoe (at)

He speaks pretty good English, so don’t worry about the language barrier.


> Where did you grow up?
> どこで育ちましたか?

I was born in 1982 Nara, and grow up there.
Now I’m student of graduate school of Osaka university.


> When did you first look at art and say to yourself, hey, I can do that too! Who was the artistic influence?
> "アートは 偉くて有名人だけの事じゃない。。。 私も作れて、販売も出来る。"と 思ったのはいつ、どこでしたか? 

I started making and exhibiting my works in 2002 at a gallery in (the city of) Nara.
My activity was motivated by the owner of that gallery.
He gave me chance to exhibit.
My early works was like the Fluxus(movement) .
For me, "art" was the easiest way to represent myself.
Not only art, I was also influenced by many things:
techno music (specially aphextwin, autechre, squarepusher .. and many
musicians of warp record)
classic music (Bach, Satie, Reich..). literature (Tanizaki,
Mishima..). comic (Ebisu, Okazaki, Furuya..).
comedy in Japan . temple in Nara.

The gallery was closed in 2005, and I started to send my works to competitions.
The series of sticker works was begun in 2005.



> Where did you study art?
> どこでアートを勉強しましたか? 楽しかった? もし ともえさん はあの美術学校の校長になれれば、どう教育課程を改良しますか?

I never went to art school. Now I study mathematics.
I’m skeptical about the education of art school.


> Your theme seems to be collages of model car decals. When and how did this theme first occur to you?
>  テーマは モデル車の スツテッカーですか? そのテーマどうやってを初めて思い付いた いつ、 どこ? モデル車もう興味ありますか?

My current series of sticker works is named "critical hit". Until now, I had made installation works mainly.
Compared to paintings, installation is more free. But on the other hand, installations are not compact, and (compared to 2-dimensional works) it is more difficult to communicate the essence using installation materials..
In this respect, painting is very simple because the surface of canvas is all there is to it.
I was seeking the motif that can be done on canvas, which no one else was doing.
In 2005, I found it in old toy shop.
The sticker is the product of TAMIYA toy company, which is popular in early 90’s.
The model car companies had names such as, Thunder, tiger, dragon…
The cars were decorated and embodied the sence of "cool" or "strong", fast" among boys.
In my childhood, many of my friend was crazy for it.
I reconstruct such a scene by today’s method.


> Between Western style and traditional Japanese style, where is your style, and why? What aspects?
> 洋画と日本画の間、 ともえ の 作品は どこ に 位置している? 洋画点は? 日本画点は?

"critical hit" is on the extension of the traditional Japanese style.
In this work, I studied from Rimpa school. I’m conscious of the beauty of the shape and the line of them.

(the Rinpa school of art was an art movement in the 1600s. hella bright colors and explosions of flowers are very characteristic of Rinpa )




> What is the emotion or the atmosphere of your painting?
> ともえさん の 作品は どんあ雰囲気もしくは感情表していますか?

"critical hit" has the atmosphere of 90’s Japanese pop culture.
I mix the scenes of those things.
For example, my works might make you recall a scene of animation of "Dragon Ball" or the texture of "Bikkuriman sticker".
Name of the series "critical hit" comes from the 90’s "Final Fantasy" video game.


I describe about "critical hit" below.


> About how long does a work take to make?
> 作品を作るのに時間はだいたいどのぐらいかかりますか?

Small size is 2 or 3 days.Large size is over 1 month.


> How do you go about laying it out? Please describe the process and techniques. . .
> 作り方、おしえてくれませんか? 技術とか。。。過程とか。。。 即興で、 とか 前持つ絵を書く?

First, I determine the image (the theme or feeling) abstractly. At the same time, I am improvising the actual placement of the stickers, to coincide with that image.


> Is there something about your themes of your work which can be expressed with collage but not with other media (CG, photos, performance, etc.)?
are you interested in working in other media?
> ともえさん の テーマ は "CGで出来ない、パフォマンスで出来ない、絵で出来ないのに collageならできる"特徴が ありますか?
>  いつか他の媒体にやってみたい?

I am not attached to one method or one media.
Always I select the most simple method.
Of course I want to expand to other media.


> You have a book of your collages out. Where can a foreigner buy it?
> ともえさんの 写真集本が あります。 外国人はどうやって買えばいい?

The book is not published. (I’m looking for a man to publish it.)
Please mail me and I will make it on demand.
the cost is 10000yen

mail:hayamatomoe (at)
In GEISAI, KAWS bought it.



> Who would you rather meet, tanmyouya hisashi, or murakami takashi? Why?
> 天明屋尚と村上タカシではドチラに一番会いたいですか? どうして?

I want to meet neither. I’m not interested in so much.


> How about, Dali or Warhol? Why?
> サルバドール・ダリ と アンディー・ウォーホル、ドチラに一番あいたい? どうして?

Warhol. I want to be his lover.


> What would you ask him?
> あの人、何を尋ねますか?



> If you could collaborate with a musician, who would it be?
> 協同をしたいバンドがありますか? 

Aphextwin, Utada Hikaru, Shibusashirazu.



> Why is Japanese contemporary art seldom concerned with politics, compared to the west or even china?
> どうして 中国や欧米に比べて、日本のコンテンポレーリアートはあまり政治に無関係、と思いますか?

I don’t treat politic theme.
Because I don’t have strong opinion for politics, and art shouldn’t be political agitation.



> Who is doing the most daring work in the world now?
> 最近世界の中で、誰が一番 挑戦的な作品を作っている、と思いますか?

WARP record.


> Finally, if you have anything else to say to your foreign fans,
> please say it!
> 最後、 外国のファンに一言お願いします。

Thank you for your attention.


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