Daisuke Sakaguchi Exhibit at Into You Tattoo
Photos above and the portrait of Daisuke Sakaguchi below by Nick Delaney.
On view at London's iconic tattoo studio and art gallery, Into You, are fantastic new works by Daisuke Sakaguchi, from canvas paintings to skateboards, and also collaboration pieces, such as jewelry with The Great Frog; artful sex toys with Illicit Touch; and a gorgeous vintage Yamaha motorcycle with Black Skulls. It's an incredibly diverse collection, but with all pieces imbued with Sakaguchi's evident passion for Irezumi, traditional Japanese tattooing, and Ukiyo-e, a genre of Japanese woodblock prints. The show closes this Thursday, October 21st, so head to Into You, from 12pm - 7pm, and don't miss it.
It's wonderful that an esteemed artist has teemed up with an esteemed tattoo studio, making his work accessible to all, especially as his art has been shown in quite exclusive venues. Just last year, Sakaguchi's stunning hand painted transformation of the 1935 BT Phone Box was auctioned at The National Portrait Gallery by Sotheby's, followed by his one off "Chikara" bicycle helmet being showcased and sold at the Legacy List 2012 exhibition at the Sotheby's London Gallery. He also created a collection of hand-painted limited edition Faberge African Ostrich eggs for Selfridges London.
Photo above by Nicola Saint-Marc.
Currently, Sakaguchi is learning to tattoo by master artist Alex "Horikitsune" Reinke, who has created stunning tattoos on Sakaguchi. I asked the artist about his tattoos and tattooing. Here's a bit from our chat:
Are you heavily involved in the design process of your tattoos?
In regards to me being a customer, I put forward the motifs that I would like along with the essence that I would like it to convey. However I give Alex the freedom to layout the placements and the composition. He knows best. As an artist and designer myself, I totally appreciate that a creative person needs the space and opportunity to execute the best work possible.
Have you ever been asked to design tattoos for another?
Yes, I have designed some small tattoos for friends of mine. I enjoy designing tattoos as well as creating paintings that are an expression on tattoo imagery. These are some of the reasons why I am very passionate about continuing to learn about the art of tattooing itself.
As you've said, there is that strong influence of Irezumi and Ukiyo-e in your work. What was it particularly about these arts that drew you in?
As a Japanese man born and brought up in London, I had two upbringings. At home, both of my parents spoke to me in Japanese. At school, I spoke English. I learnt both English and Japanese cultures simultaneously. I am a fan of all kinds of traditional, modern, conceptual and visual art. It is Japanese art that I saw was so relevant to my blood line and ancestors from a symbolic perspective. It was also something that I was just naturally drawn to purely for it's beautiful aesthetics.
The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to research what all the motifs and stories meant and to see how I can incorporate these messages in to my own paintings and visual art work.
In addition to tattooing, Sakaguchi has some exciting upcoming projects: His friend, Wendy Meakin, the art collector and dealer, has recently purchased a vintage 1940 UK Test Bomb, and he will be painting on to the bomb to give it a brand new life. He says, "We love the idea of taking something that is a symbol of destruction and creating a new positive purpose for it. It will become a powerful peaceful statement piece. The test bomb will be reborn as the "Love Bomb"!" Sakaguchi will also be collaborating with Steven Marlow to create a custom built and hand painted guitar.
If you can't make it to London to check Daisuke Sakaguchi's exhibit at Into You, you can get a taste from this 3-minute video (below), by Rino Pucci, of the opening.