Artist” and “illustrator”. I think it is in this balance that I draw pictures.
Taniguchi: Welcome to chignitta space! This is Chignitta Taniguchi and Sasanuki. We’ve just started “Hip & Square” with Hajime Sarai, and it’s been very well received.
Sakurai : How do you feel about it? For the past couple of years, Taniguchi-san has been telling me to make a big work, but I stubbornly refused. I’ve had four solo exhibitions this year, Fukuoka in March, Tokyo in June, Kyoto in September, and now Chignitta. Laughs. I had four solo exhibitions this year, Fukuoka in March, Tokyo in June, Kyoto in September, and now Chignita. Laughs. I’ve been doing well this year, probably because of the 2020 hiatus, and I’ve been getting a lot of purchases and feeling good about my work, so I thought I’d take on the challenge of doing a big work, which I’ve been told to do., I’m wondering if I can sell such a big work in Japan, so it’s more like an adventure or a challenge or a gamble. It’s really naughty, but it cost me more than 500,000 yen to prepare for this exhibition. Laughter. In a real sense, it was also a gamble. But we decided to hold it. What do you think?
Taniguchi: “It’s good, isn’t it? Laughs
Satokoro: After making me say this much, “Isn’t it good? Is that it? lol
Sasanuki: It was even more amazing than I expected, and I was already saying “Yay” when I walked into the venue, getting really excited. It was so cool! Mr. Sakurai, you really worked hard on that patch! Is that too much praise?
Sakura: I’m the type of person who thrives on praise. Thank you very much.
Taniguchi: I’ve been going out with Sakura-kun for about 15 years now. I think we’ve gone through a few changes. To begin with, it’s a bit confusing to start out as “mods. It’s only for mod people. It’s only mods people who talk about quitting “mods” or “mods” forever.
(Note) Mods is a general term for the style of young people in the suburbs of London, England, who loved fashion and music from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s.
Saturai: Yes, that’s right. I’ve always had an obsession with “style,” starting with “mods,” and I’m unnecessarily conscious of whether that style is right for me or not, and how I approach it. This awareness is not important to other people, though.
I remember Mr. Taniguchi telling me 15 years ago, “You won’t get your break unless Shibuya-kei has a revival. Laughs. It left a huge impression on me. When I think back to what you said at that time, I feel like you were casually predicting 15 years from now.
Note: Shibuya-kei, Sibuya-kei, or Shibuya sound is a Japanese popular music genre and movement that originated in Shibuya, Tokyo, and flourished in the 1990s.
Taniguchi: Shibuya-kei is having a revival right now. I think there’s also a Sakurai boom coming. Laughs. After that, my impression is that your encounter with Hiroshi Nagai was also very important.
Sayuri: Yes, it was. At that time, Mr. Nagai told me, “If you want to be an artist, you have to use handwriting.” I had been doing graphic design to begin with, and started working as an illustrator as an extension of that. But that has changed a lot. I didn’t know how I could get involved in art, so I decided to start putting out hand-drawn works, or to start holding exhibitions.
Also, as an illustrator, you have orders and work to do, so you have to figure out how to respond to those orders, but in this kind of exhibition, you are not asked to do anything, so you draw what you like and hope that the audience likes it.
That’s why I can’t completely separate “artist” and “illustrator” in my mind, and I think I draw pictures in this balance.