Haro Solo Exhibition "HELL/Oh!"
2022.07.20(Wed) – 2022.07.25(Mon)
YUGEN Gallery hosted a solo exhibition by Mono-psychedelic artist Haro entitled HELL/Oh! from Wednesday, July 20 through Monday, July 25.
"What did you find in hell?"
Do you feel like you're at war? No, live through the day with distant thoughts of a cartoonish reality.
Survive by skipping chaotic times. Feel it through gnawing teeth, forget it without an instant of grasping.
Life-maddening destruction and looting are laughing in the world unfolding next to a glowing plate; dance silently as if telling a story.
Before believing in politics, or religion, or philosophy, or love—believe so, so strongly in yourself; feel your daily happiness/unhappiness that much more strongly, and gnaw on it.
An age when the invisible shakes our brains, when the visible takes on every greater speed, when details vanish and the true colors, smells, and contours of things are in peril.
How are you all doing these days?
A psychedelic experience in black and white
Haro was born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1983, and still uses it as his working base. He works as an artist in collage and silkscreen. Art has always been a part of his life, even from childhood when he he frequented the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, where a relative worked as a staff member. One of his greatest influences at the time was the manga GeGeGe no Kitaro, by Shigeru Mizuki. "I loved yokai monsters, and the detail of his expression with so many fine lines influenced me," Haro explains. We can also see the seeds of Haro's current expressive style in his early pleasure in cutting out and filing away designs from history and art textbooks.
His interest in psychedelic culture began in high school, when he picked up a collection of rock concert posters that helped form the psychedelic movement that swept the world in the 1960s. He took a leave of absence from university to go to England to get a direct sense of the lineage of "Swinging London" on the ground, and became fixated on chaotic styles that stirred people's imagination.
"Creation that can bring 1 from 0 is so miraculous. Expanding 1 to 2, 3 ... 10, is something clearly different. Personally, though, I find it interesting to expand one, and to skip thinking altogether. The 'trip' is an important mode of thinking for creative work, that shifting of viewpoint and looking at things in different combinations," he says. Shift the axis of current value systems and take psychedelic art as a new way of looking at things.
Psychedelic art has developed an image of extreme color use, but in contrast Haro's style of expression uses only black and white for what he calls Mono-psychedelic. Since "White contains all colors" and different viewers will find different colors emerge from it, he examines the impact of psychedelic art pushed to the limits of simplicity, and puts it into continual practice.
Thinking of eternal war
Haro's three-dimensional work HELLO!!!BUSTERS!!!!!!!!!! conveys a sense of oncoming war engendered by the 2021 attack on the United States capitol. It was a massive standing collage on the theme "destruction and rebirth," and was an interactive piece in which visitors to the gallery broke it down and carried it away. It was a participatory thought experiment that revealed people's way of thought by physically recreating the concept of war. Then, the pandemic arrived, and now in 2022 war has become a reality, so now he has presented an exhibition with a stronger emphasis on "rebirth," HELL/Oh! It displays ten new works, most of them two-dimensional.
Haro could see how the thought experiment became a stress reliever with the goal of destruction. Human beings can feel pleasure in destroying things, and war releases elements of the human psyche unexpressed in everyday life. And therefore, we gain the realization that war is eternal.
This echoes Hannah Arendt's observations on her fears about the Nazi genocide being simply a matter of people following orders, when she said "…it becomes daily clearer how great a burden mankind is for man."
Examining "Rebirth" rather than reconstruction
While convinced of the idea that war is eternal, Haro also strongly believes in rebirth from it as he was strongly influenced by being born and raised in Hiroshima. He attended elementary school near the Genbaku Dome, at ground zero in Hiroshima City, and it while it was a part of his daily life it is also a place where people from all over the world gather to reflect. What is it that all those people believe and pray for? Hiroshima's legacy for the world became part of his identity as an artist.
"War is 'a hell that creates people.' Sadly, war never stops, no matter the era, and and those who survive it burn their lives away in that hell, managing only to escape and reconstruct by building their future piece by piece, with their own hands. What can we find and give rebirth to in that hell? "
The world has achieved such recovery that it can be hard to believe that war ever happened. However, the happy reality of reconstruction hides a real unhappiness, and we are born and raised to be unable to accept war as real when it does happen.
"There is another perception beyond the events of everyday life in front of us. And that is what the psychedelic explores.
In doing so, Haro questions the rebirth of the resulting world in which ""the invisible shakes our brains"" and ""the contours of things are in peril."""
In addition to the two-dimensional pieces of this exhibition, HELL/Oh! has a large "war-experience" audience-participation collage work like HELLO!!!BUSTERS!!!!!!!!!!, which will be destroyed and looted at the gallery. There is also the interactive piece C/U/T, in which visitors can cut off their favorite pieces of the destroyed work to take home (*1), and a live screen-printing area will be set up for silk-screening single-image designs onto t-shirts or other items (*2). These ventures allow visitors to re-collage and expand on Haro's worldview. Haro is planning to be in the gallery every day during the exhibition and will interact with each visitor in the belief that such interaction is what will complete his installation.
This is a world where right and wrong are interchangeable, where everything seems disjointed yet connected, but in the next moment, meaning and relationships are severed. His collage, made through analog methods of cutting with scissors and pasting with glue to arrange disparate properties and logic, help us intuit the world as a noisy entity in constant flux and attempts to help us acquire a sense of the reality we live in.
*1 Fees are based on the size of piece taken home. Starting at ¥1,000.
*2 Fee: ¥500
*Some of the works on display are subject to change. please note that.
About work sales
At the same time as the exhibition is held, it will be possible to view and purchase the works on the YUGEN Gallery official online store.
Original stickers for gallery visitors only.
We offer Haro solo exhibition HELL/Oh! stickers as a bonus to visitors to the gallery.
The offer is limited to those who fill in our survey at the time of visit, so be sure to respond.
Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Formation, Exile, and Totalitarianism. Hannah Arendt.
Silkscreen printer/graphic designer Lives in Hiroshima. Began attracting attention from magazines and media after joining the "psychedelia consideration traveler crew" after previous members quit He is associated with the Iesaku private brand of the President of Tokusyu-manga (master of underground manga), Takashi Nemoto. He does art and design work under the name Haro, while his silkscreen printing appears under the name Haro Workshop. His favorite flower is the creeping daisy.Go to author page