Day 36: Takashi Hara

I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, have been an international artist since 2004 mainly in Canada and the United States. One day, when I was in depression by facing a hard time of life, I noticed a little flower on a street in Tokyo. Although being surrounded by concretes, flowers rise through the concrete strongly even if the chance to survive is small. Flowers on street are classified as weeds. People love going to gorgeous flower gardens or seeing framed picture of flowers but do not pay attention to street ones. Moreover, weeds get killed even though they are strong and beautiful. I see the same thing happens in our societies as well.
People tend to be conformist. Japanese society encourages this conformity more than most societies today. In Japan, there is a saying: “The nail that sticks out gets hammered in.” Personal passions are suppressed for the benefit of the group. Society rejects people who are different, evidenced in the way people manipulate others by bullying, prejudice, and discrimination. These are subjects that people tend to avoid in polite conversation. Just like people talk about the weather we tend to focus on the mundane rather than the painful. The unspoken rules of any society limit and direct our personal passions and alienate public acts of self-expression. To ironically encourage people going through the burdens that come from not conforming, I use pigs and texts as a narrative in my allegorical artwork to reflect on human society and its tendency to put ambitions in a cage. In most cultures, the pig is a subject of derision and abuse. We confine them and manipulate them to our own needs. What is so different from our lives in a manipulative society?
Little flower can provide encouragement, and I want to encourage myself and other people through my art. I lay the seeds of my encouraging messages in the soil along with this mix of these traditions, diverse cultural experiences, and clay to grow them as art pieces, which can inspire people like the little flower in Tokyo did to me.

www.takashihara.com

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