Article: URUOTTE's vision of the new horizon seen through the eyes of the genius Hajime Sorayama.
URUOTTE's vision of the new horizon seen through the eyes of the genius Hajime Sorayama.
Hajime Sorayama is an artist who expresses his unique view of the world with astonishing realism using his overwhelming drawing ability, and continues to present works that pursue the beauty of the human body and machines.
After working as a graphic designer at an advertising agency, he became an independent illustrator in the 1970s. He once did a series of illustrations for Penthouse, a long-established American men's magazine. His depictions of pinup girls do not flirt with the viewpoints of stupid macho men, including the foolish former president of that country, but rather the overly exaggerated fetishistic expressions seem to provoke the stereotypical desires and taboos surrounding women, which is truly painful.
Since the late 1970s, Sorayama's works have been enthusiastically supported by the so-called "Tokyo underground" scene, which deviated from the mainstream art scene. In the eyes of this writer of the generation that came into contact with Sorayama's works through fetish events and subculture media, his images of women proudly displaying their flawless bodies were seen as "autonomous and strong eroticism" and "isolated portraits. The image foreshadowed a new era of female portraits, connected to the "power nudes" of the 20th century photographer Helmut Newton, who confronted the sculpted bodies of tall models standing on their heads.
In the late 1970s, Sorayama began producing his internationally acclaimed "Sexy Robot" series of android sculptures with erotic and metallic textures and mechanical forms, which have become one of his signature works. In 2001, he created the artwork for the rock band Aerosmith's album "Just Push Play," which drew worldwide attention.
Since then, artists and creators from all walks of life have expressed their strong support for his work, and there is no end to the requests for collaboration with Sorayama.
The concept design for Sony's AIBO pet robot can be said to have kicked off this trend. This work, which won the Good Design Award Grand Prix and the Media Arts Festival Grand Prix, and is in the permanent collections of MoMA (NYC) and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.), has brought Sorayama's name to the forefront of the public's attention.
With Disney, known for its strict regulations on modeling, he has also teamed up with the toy company Tommy to create FUTURE MICKEY, a Mickey Mouse robot figurine that pushes radical modeling to its limits.
In 2018, he unveiled a giant 12-meter tall "sexy robot" at a show showcasing his collaboration with Dior Men, which he worked on with Kim Jones.
In recent years, the approach to Sorayama by foreign celebrities has become increasingly heated.
In Sorayama's atelier, which is like a cave where half a century's worth of materials and personal belongings have accumulated, an eco-bag with a message and hickey, which was given to fashion designer Stella McCartney on the occasion of her visit, was displayed in a random manner.
Pharrell Williams, who is also in the news for his appointment as artistic director of Louis Vuitton, visited Sorayama's atelier during his visit to Japan.
Musician " The Weeknd " is also known as a collector of Sorayama's sculptures, and he has invited Sorayama to be the creative director for the music video for his song "Echoes of Silence" (2021). In addition, during his current global stadium tour, Sorayama will compete with a 7-meter-long "sexy robot" sculpture towering above the stage in an attempt to share his vision of the future by immersing the audience in the world of his work.
On the other hand, Queen Corporation, which is celebrating its 18th year since launching the natural hair care brand URUOTTE, has now launched the genderless line URUOTTE in collaboration with Hajime Sorayama. Among other things, in developing the new product "Cocoon," the company took a major turn in the direction of creation, and its gaze led it to two points of arrival.
One of them is the cutting-edge package design.
Cocoon" is loaded in a metallic bottle reminiscent of spaceships and rockets, inspired by Sorayama's "Sexy Robot" series. The solid design symbolized by the logotype on the bottle has an unexpected story behind its creation.
We had an offer from a big company, and we were about to start work on a packaging project, but in the end we decided to drop the project. This is a common case. Many companies claim to be collaborating with artists, but they try to use art superficially, just incorporating a part of the artwork into an existing product, or changing the colors a bit, or adding a logo. The people in charge of such projects lack passion and love, so they can't make anything good. Even if you consult with them about what you want to make, they are unable to get it through to upper management. Even if I don't expect the same level of quality as Sony's AIBO, when I take on a project, I want to be involved in the design from the very beginning of the development process, from the ground up if possible. For this reason, I have cancelled many large-scale projects. I've had people tell me he's crazy for turning down tens of millions of dollars worth of work, but there are things that can't be converted into money," Sorayama said.
Around that time, Sasagawa, who is also an art collector and the company's representative, consulted with Sorayama, whom he had always highly respected, about the possibility of collaboration in working on a new project. As it happened, the design Sorayama had conceived for the aforementioned abandoned project matched Sasagawa's concept for the new product.
It was an extremely technically challenging design, with a relief of 0.3 mm on an ultra-thin metal material. After gathering the knowledge of the project team, including architect/artist Satoshi Itasaka, and making many prototypes of new molds, their "desired view" finally became a reality.
Another destination was the abstract creation of fragrance.
Working with up-and-coming perfumers to develop an environmentally friendly, ethical fragrance was a major new innovation in this project. The fragrance, with cypress essential oil and bio-generated white musk at its core, is so powerful and stimulating that it fills the entire space surrounding the body and lingers subtly for a long time. It transformed the everyday activity of washing one's hair into a body-expanding experience that could be likened to an Ayurvedic treatment.
To be honest, when I heard about "fragrant space travel in the bathroom," all I could think of was a giant "? came to mind. However, when I actually experienced the sensation of using the product, it became clear to me that space travel is "a journey of consciousness that travels around the universe in the brain, stimulated by fragrance and stimulated by the imagination.
Furthermore, the futuristic packaging inspired by Sorayama's "sexy robot" landed on textures and shapes reminiscent of rockets and spaceships, which led to a second serendipity: the concept of "scented space travel.
So, how did Dr. Sorayama react? (The following is from the original text from the line)
It was a bewitching experience that aroused my fantasy that Mrs. Robinson's aunt in the movie "The Graduate" must have smelled like this. After all, I am in the business of fantasies.
Sasagawa's imagination seems to have been inflated by the original "Hitori Uchu" (One Man's Universe), but "that is also good" (Sasagawa).
Sorayama has long said that his creative activity is to "present his delusions in pictures" and that "delusion is a limitless free play that can be done only inside the brain. Not only artists, but any human being has the freedom to travel around inside his or her own brain and create delusions without leaving the house. The finite and fragile mind and body, which cannot be used as they are in the real world, can expand and leap infinitely in the world of fantasy.
Needless to quote the opening lines of Proust's "In Search of Lost Time," sometimes "scents" can lead us to the pleasures of delusion through the movement of memory and consciousness. Even if it is only for a short time while we wash our hair, the function of fragrance, which brings us fantasies, dreams, and sensuality, may become the "super high functionality" that our spirit demands as we continue to live in these harsh times.