DISTORTION, ABSTRACTION, SURREALISM.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER HAGIHARA TAKUYA／萩原 卓哉 CREATES FROM IN BETWEEN HIS INTUITION AND LOGIC.
New art pieces are presented daily without exception. The man behind the constant artistic evolution is graphic designer Hagihara Takuya／萩原 卓哉. He talks to us about his production progress that is constantly updated by the future and never looks back on the past.
Every day a new piece is uploaded onto his social media account. Each piece possesses a different expression, but the same man, Hagihara Takuya／萩原 卓哉, created them all.
After majoring in electronic engineering at university, he journeyed into becoming a graphic designer and has steadily expanded his projects from displays at the Bottega Veneta Omotesando store to collaborating on the AMBUSH® WKSP S/S 2022 Collection.
Amidst all his success, he never fails to upload a new graphic design piece online, which has grown into an abundance of original designs. When asked how he started as a graphic designer, the answer was quite surprising.
“I guess I had the urge to create and express myself out of a vague frustration that many young people have around that time. When I started, I had the misconception that it was a method of expression with a high degree of freedom, where various things could be created from scratch, without the need for facilities, space, or personnel, unlike many other genres.”
“I have a feeling that my work is the product of subconsciously mixing all my experiences. So, even if I create something intuitively, when I look back at it later, I sometimes feel that it reflects a logical idea, and vice versa.” says the designer.
The appeal of an art piece is that no matter how much times change, the finished work itself remains the same, but the way it is perceived can change over and over again depending on the changes in the viewer's state of mind. These changes can circulate again to stimulate new creation.
When asked what the world of expression had in common with his major at university, which at first glance seems to have no connection, he answered, "I guess the only commonality with engineering is the sense of repeated experimentation in the lab.” His curiosity to experiment is evident in how he constantly challenges himself to use new methods in his daily creations.
It would be nonsensical to try to come up with a single word to describe such a constant flow of work, but the interview gave us a glimpse into Hagihara's approach to production. We talked to him about everything from production to what he wants to challenge in the future, as well as the strange landscape of Tokyo he left in 2018.
There is always a feeling of consistency throughout specific motifs or color bugs in the works you post as you introduce new techniques. What is the core concept you’ve stuck to from the beginning that you still carry on today?
Whenever I make a new piece, I want to challenge myself to create something that has never been done before, without following the lineage of other people's existing works or my past works. Therefore, the reality that my work is perceived to be consistent is kind of disappointing. However, I have had the opportunity to learn that, in my case, new ideas only emerge through a series of minor changes.
What does the word “originality” mean to you?
The thought of “there may be something ‘original’ in existence in the world” is always in the back of my mind. Then after I’ve created something, I take 20-30 seconds to myself to think, “This might be something original,” and that thought and feeling is the driving motivation to create my next project. And when you look at the natural world, you will notice that it is full of “originality.”
In a previous interview, you mentioned that you actively adopt new methods and techniques you are not particularly familiar with. Have you faced any challenges with your recent works?
One of my true intentions is to give people a sense of discomfort or a new visual sensation, so there is no need for anyone to mind the techniques. It's just a matter of the creator. It's a secret :)
You left Tokyo in 2018. What was it like to see the beauty of Tokyo, with its fast-changing pace and the inextricably eerie nature of the city?
Tokyo is an exquisitely uncomfortable city. It seems to me that the beauty in its ordered, yet chaotic landscape is only a product of man’s curiosity for the outlandish.
I lived there for almost 15 years but have yet to revisit since I left in early 2018. I have high expectations for it to be even more bizarre.
What are some of the production challenges you would like to take on in the future?
What I do now is solely a person creating for other people. That is why I've been interested in trying out methods of expression that make the most of the body and its senses for a long time now. Also, trying things I didn't like before is an interesting thing to do in any area, and I thought while answering this question that there is something to be discovered in creating something for animals and plants. It's hard to be specific though, because my opinions change every day to something completely different.
Text: Yoshiko Kurata
Artist: Hagihara Takuya／萩原 卓哉
Translated by Aoi Sasaki