Title Heroes
Artist Teiji Hayama
Dates 2024.01.06 – 03.03
Reception 2024.01.06 (Sat.) 4:00 p.m
Venue
Asia Art Center (Taipei)

Heroes

Asia Art Center is pleased to present Teiji Hayama’s first solo exhibition in Taiwan, titled Heroes, featuring 24 exciting new paintings. Delving into diverse cultural contexts, Hayama portrays iconic historical figures and Hollywood stars in vibrant or grayscale tone, capturing their exhaustion with expressions ranging from boredom to exaggeration. He sees these figures as recognizable “vintage influencers,” and by distorting their portraits, Hayama aims to express the incessant bombardment of social media in the digital age. As individuals strive to maintain their idealized digital identities, a self-consuming fatigue emerges, reflecting the psychological burden of the current generation.

As a devoted fan of David Bowie (1947-2016), Hayama named this exhibition after Bowie’s iconic song Heroes. The lyrics depict a transient heroism through the portrayal of love, emphasizing a moment that feels eternal, aligning seamlessly with Hayama’s artistic expression. The protagonists in his paintings aspire to present flawless images, echoing the sentiment of “We can be heroes,” at least in the unreal digital realm where they pretend to be heroes. Despite the seemingly positive lyrics, the unspoken bitterness lies beneath, mirroring the dual nature of Hayama’s artworks—captivating yet unsettling, compelling the viewer’s attention.

Hayama employs painting techniques to portray visuals resembling digital post-production. His artworks carry strong elements of Pop Art, featuring a classic symbol—the “downturned lips”— alluding to people’s obsession with social media. For some individuals, this obsession has become a driving force in their lives, leading them to pursue online popularity and financial gain at any cost. The layered, transparent images in the artwork create an optical illusion, resembling a kaleidoscopic portrait, akin to the repetitive exposure in photography. This effect captures the essence of fleeting fame, like the momentary flash of a camera shutter. On another note, the proliferation of countless images on social media inundates people’s lives, causing them to gradually forget their own and others’ appearances. This phenomenon underscores society’s fascination with two-dimensional images, surpassing the significance of three-dimensional reality.

葉山禎治 Teiji Hayama

Teiji Hayama was born in 1975 in Kumamoto, Japan, and graduated from Central Saint Martins in London in 1998. Having worked in the fashion industry, he currently lives and works in Giffers, Switzerland. Hayama has presented his solo exhibition at Asia Art Center (Taipei, 2024), The Anzai Gallery (Tokyo, 2023), Unit London (London, 2021), GR Gallery (New York, 2021), and Arsham/Fieg Gallery (New York, 2019) in recent years. His artworks have garnered recognition, being collected by renowned artists, including KAWS and Jean Pigozzi, and he was nominated for the Sovereign Art Prize in 2008.

ON-SITE

ARTWORKS

3 robots Marylin

2 faces Kylie

Disco Marylin

Cobalt

The Banana

Mushroom Heads

Triple Marylin

Farrah’s Bike

Trooper

Comic biker

Cola headphone

Angelo

Armorylin

Green Hand

Red Hand Nurse

Mermaid & Shell

Cleolee

Miffylin

The Bunny

Orange Beard

Twilee

The Pink Panther

Darumarbie

3 Emotions


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