Gen Hikage
Statement of Looking Up Series by Gen Hikage

@After immigrating to New York I became a man who felt like a frog that can't reach the branch of a willow. Although occasionally I tried to produce a painting of the low angle (Angle looking up from low viewpoint) series when it occurred to me, every time I saw that these works were a depiction based on the background of the city named Tokyo. Even if it is not so, it is said that almost all artists immigrating can't make their works for several years. It might be clear that the environment is a place that sustains work. Decisive problems such as language trouble, living environment differences as well as loneliness, are overwhelming.
@About 1998, 4 years after immigration, I began production at last by drawing a very tiny spring of water from the environment named New York. It did not advance quickly, but finally I held a solo show presented by a nonprofit gallery, White Box in Chelsea, in December 2002. These fresh mutants were what I was trying to revivify, discarded everyday objects of which New York is filled. I gave hands, feet, wings and fins, eyeballs and a mouth, and tried to animate them. Though it is not necessary to call one genre of art surrealism, it is the popular way of animation and games, comics or films that thrives today. However even if I kept this style, I picked out the subject only through everyday articles, used up or discarded. Those artifacts occasionally are the products of high technology, which are already ominous fossils of our times. Just like heavy oil and dioxin might be mixed in the spring water of New York, this subject made my pictures of the new series not a decoration, but a thing assumed to be bitter and awkward.
@However today a scene of low angles that I was able to produce in Tokyo in the 80's is beginning to stand out in this old New York that was built up in the early 20th century. Though it might be influenced by Japanese otaku-culture like Japanimation and video games or films, that angle, looking at the world vertically, has begun to have reality for this city's people. The realm of virtual reality has begun to occupy larger parts of the images of today's people. On the other hand, in the real world, new high-rise buildings with the latest high technology and open post-modern design are being built up in Manhattan or Brooklyn, as it must be assumed by the soaring price of real estate. This environment, made by steel and large quantities of glass, will force people to look up at the world.
@At this turning point, my latest works will assume a retrospective character.

©2015 Gen Hikage All rights reserved.