Sadao Hasegawa, 1978-82


Japanese graphic artist Sadao Hasegawa was born in the Tokai area of Japan in 1955, and after taking up drawing in his twenties, his first exhibition Sadao Hasegawa's Alchemism-Meditation for 1973 debuted in Tokyo.

He combined depictions of the male physique, sex (often extreme, such as bondage and S&M), elaborate fantastic settings and Japanese, Indian, South-East Asian and African mythology, resulting in an intensely concentrated representation of stylised eroticism.

Whilst Hasegawa's work generated interest overseas, with contributions to magazines in the US and Europe, in Japan, his work has been largely overlooked. Sadao Hasegawa: Paintings and Drawings (Gay Men's Press, 1990), and Paradise Vision (Kochi Studio, 1996) have so far been the only collections of the artist's work.

Hasegawa refused to exhibit overseas, apparently not wanting to distribute his works abroad. He committed suicide on 20th November 1999 in Bangkok, Thailand, leaving only a small stone on which he had painted a portrait of Japanese author and poet Yukio Mishima, who had taken his own life one year earlier.

In the first of a three part series, we take a look at Hasegawa's early work.

Toucan (1978), thought to be Hasegawa's first publicly available work.

Martyr (1979).

Impaled (1980).

Son of Leopard I (1980).

Tengu - Long Nosed Goblins (1980).

The Floating Feeling (1980).

Snake I (1980).

Snake II (1980).

Snake III (1981).

Resurrection (1981).

Ryu Jin Zu I - Dragon God I (1981).

Ryu Jin Zu II - Dragon God II (1981).

The Mask (1981).

The Talons of the Emissary (1981).

Matsuri Goto - Festivities (1981).

Kabuki (1981).

Kabuki II (1981).

Kabuki III (1981).

Matsuri Goto I - Festivities I (1981).

Matsuri Goto II - Festivities II (1981).

Bound (1981).

Passions (1981).

Rope I (1981).

Rope II (1981).

Rope III (1981).

Rope IV (1981).

Rope V (1981).

Gon Gu Edo I - Joyfully Seeking the Impure Land I (1981).

Gon Gu Edo II - Joyfully Seeking the Impure Land II (1981).

Kurama Tengu - The Long-nosed Goblin from Kurama (1981).

The Princess and the Eight Dogs (1981).

Tsuchi Gumo - Ground Spider (1981).

The Sign of Cancer (1981).

To The Sea (1981).

Sea Spirit (1982).

Earth Spirit (1982).

Fire Spirit (1981).

Le sang et la rose - To Beardsley (1982).

Blue Narcissus (1982).

Snow Man (1982).

Tsuru Kame - Crane and Turtle (1982).

Voice From Heaven (1982).

Stupa (1982).

Matsuri - Festival (1982).

Shishi Odori I - Lion Dance I (1982).

Shishi Odori II - Lion Dance II (1982).

Shishi Odori III - Lion Dance III (1982).

Next: 1982-1991.


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