Tomiyuki Sakuta

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Title: A Face of Drops
Artist: Tomiyuki Sakuta
Sakura’s figures, usually displayed under a series of female names, blend personalities with the style and shape of a natural form — the combination returning a surreal and shrouded portrait with allegories to folk or fantasy. The intaglio-printed tree form of ‘Carole’ is one of Sakura’s more whimsical creations, the bulging eyes and dashing feet looping into a lineage of character storytelling from Japanese anime to the fables that inspired them, the artist playfully exercising a sense of motion that allows a particularly compelling visual description — the branches whipping backwards and feet blurring in their hurry.
Title: Alison No. 2
Artist: Tomiyuki Sakuta
Via Intaglio print, Japanese artist Sakura wrests for portraits that combine a strange and shaded fantasy with adroit technical skill. “Alison 2”s human physiognomy is countered by an overall fruit-like appearance, creating a vying of familiar and surreal that gives the work a mysterious and dark underpinning. Sakura inserts a dramatic level of textural detail into the grain of the flesh and leaves through a painstaking process of thin scratches with a needle into the copper printing plate, the process inducing a state of deep, vague and meditative thought which often transitions into the realisation of the result.
Title: Carole
Artist: Tomiyuki Sakuta
Sakura’s figures, usually displayed under a series of female names, blend personalities with the style and shape of a natural form — the combination returning a surreal and shrouded portrait with allegories to folk or fantasy. The intaglio-printed tree form of ‘Carole’ is one of Sakura’s more whimsical creations, the bulging eyes and dashing feet looping into a lineage of character storytelling from Japanese anime to the fables that inspired them, the artist playfully exercising a sense of motion that allows a particularly compelling visual description — the branches whipping backwards and feet blurring in their hurry.
Title: Dodog
Artist: Tomiyuki Sakuta
Human and plant biological motifs are often equidistant in Sakura’s visual profiles, the artist meditating on his subjects for long periods both before and during the process of creation, each print made through delicate and intricately laced lines etched methodically into the printing plate. As such, “Dodog” is an image fortified with the existential weight of such a meditative process, and finds a profound beauty loaded with a creeping sense of tension from his subject matter; one of a series of works based on individuals the artist has met or is close to. The mouth of this figure stretches and combines in layers to suggest the petals of a fleshy flower, the curl of the lips particularly reminiscent of carnivorous pitcher plantlife, or the exotic shape of an orchid.
Title: Flower of Legs
Artist: Tomiyuki Sakuta
A part of the “Friends & Faces” series, “Flower of Legs” marks a rare departure away from the portrait for Sakura — though many other hallmarks of his work remain intact. The loose assembly of body and plant as a single, harmonised image is lent an eerie undertone with skilled use of tone and framing — the legs appearing dismembered, but arranged in the form of the flower under a soft glow.
Title: Friends
Artist: Tomiyuki Sakuta
Liberating portraiture from strict representation, Sakura uses his prints to reflect on internal conflicts and fantasies, harmonising those perceptions with the image to create a portrayal that acknowledges its own subjectivity — and searches for a universal emotive language. The surrealist abstraction of “Tomas” reduces down to a repetition of mouths and lips (particularly pouting and suggestively female) and extols a wonderment that might topple into obsessiveness over this one trait — or clarifies a personality to its single, definitive point.
Title: Joris
Artist: Tomiyuki Sakuta
An inky, subaquatic portrait from Sakura, “Joris” is part of the “Friends Series” — the artist deriving a subject from friends or familiar faces, then accentuating or manipulating particular values within their portrait to explore their sense of self, as well as his own. The creased, gently floating form suggests a particularly delicate and submerged skin, small beads tucked unto folds and pockets of the surface. The sharp lines and white frame of the glasses sit in contrast to the delicate phrasing of the shaded tones around it, and lend a interesting pulp-graphic intonation.
Title: Marcel
Artist: Tomiyuki Sakuta
Sakura explores personality through a merging of abstract or non-human elements with the recognisable traits and shapes of a portrait — using the willingness of the viewers brain to find a face from an unsuspecting origin. “Marcel” finds that human aspect in the subtlest denomination, the illusion of face projected through a hazy build up of spheres in a cloud-like sub-summation — the shapes carefully arranged to delicately suggest features and muscles in a use of positive and negative space. A set of six forms of unknown calibre (but reminiscent of organic cells, particularly sperm, or sheaths of wheat, or finger-like protrusions) penetrate into or out of the mass and suggest a violent and possibly sexualised combination. The work is afforded such a fine detail through the artists combined use of intaglio and chine-collé printing process, each allowing a very fine control of line, and the junction allows a textural variation and added depth between the base figure and the swarming cell-like entities.