Héröine - Toshio Saeki

25 May 2024 – 29 Jun 2024

Regular hours

14:00 – 19:00
14:00 – 19:00
14:00 – 19:00
14:00 – 19:00
14:00 – 19:00

Free admission

Save Event: Héröine - Toshio Saeki

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Vernissage Saturday 25th of may
 from 14h to 19h

Exhibition from may 25th to June 29th 2024


Galerie Da-End presents its third exhibition dedicated to Japanese artist Toshio Saeki (1945-2019), an underground icon of erotic illustration from the 1970s.

His work lies on the crossroads between the art of shunga (17th-century erotic prints) and ero-guro, an artistic and literary movement that emerged around 1930 and combines eroticism with macabre and grotesque elements. By incorporating yōkai, supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore, the artist enriches his universe with a mythical dimension and forges a unique style, while expanding the conventional boundaries of contemporary Japanese art.

Playing with paradoxes through his drawing practice, Saeki favors a clear line and formal simplicity, creating a striking contrast with the “unavowable desires” and “prohibitions” he explores. Faced with a censorship that forbids the depiction of sexual organs, the artist transforms this constraint into a creative motor, embracing the absurd and the fantastic to depict an imagination tinged with the fury and blood of a certain youth. A provocative work that defies social norms and encourages viewers to plunge into the depths of the unconscious. Even more striking, the scenes he illustrates, filled with cruelty, provoke critical reflection through a provocative juxtaposition of dark and comic elements.  In so doing, Saeki reveals a whole spectrum of fantasies linked to sexuality and death. Plate after plate, the artist seems to revisit traditional motifs, skilfully interweaving them with the preoccupations of a generation marked by war, sexual revolution and the upheavals of a society in the throes of transforming its ancestral values.

This exhibition brings together all the silkscreen prints made from the artist's drawings between 1972 and 1975, produced in Kyoto in 2009 under the direction of Satoshi Saïkusa (1959-2021), artist and co-founder of Da-End gallery.
Conceived in close collaboration with Saeki, these prints were signed and stamped by himself, and executed by master silkscreen artist Fumie Taniyama.
More than a reflection on taboos and their transgression in art, this exhibition is also a space of memory, paying tribute to the work of Toshio Saeki and the commitment of Satoshi Saïkusa to the dissemination of Japanese art and culture within the gallery. It goes beyond the simple evocation of lingering nostalgia to encourage the public to reflect on how works are transmitted through various creative initiatives. It also illustrates the role of art as a bridge between generations and a catalyst for the re-evaluation of artistic and cultural narratives. By celebrating these creators, the exhibition becomes an act of vindication and an exaltation of alternative contemporary art.

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