Toshiki Hayasaka: Ephemeral Samurai curated by Kyoko Sato

November 28 – December 4, 2023
12 – 6PM

November 28 - December 4, 2023
Nov 28-30: 12-6pm | Dec 1 and 3: Closed | Dec 2 and 4 : 12-3pm

Opening Reception: Friday, December 1, 6-8 pm
Live Performance by Tom Chiu (Violin) and Toshiki Hayasaka (Painting)

The importance of being committed to the moment, “living now.” The realization that single moments can accumulate to become a lifetime. Noticing the value of life by living each “fleeting” moment to the fullest. Toshiki learned this from bushido, because samurai knew the death could come at any moment. The deeper the shadow of death, the brighter light of life, so they spent their days living in the moment.

Toshiki was born in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, and experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. He was a member of the fire brigade while still in college, and was involved in lifesaving efforts. The debris after the tsunami hit was a scene that made it hard to believe that people had lived peacefully where the houses were the day before. Through this experience, Hayasaka realized the preciousness of life and decided to live in the moment, “now,” and to live as an artist for that purpose.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), the father of India’s independence, said, “Live as if you would die tomorrow,” and Steve Jobs (1955-2011), founder of Apple Inc. (1955-2011) said, “If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am doing today?” Hayasaka has experienced these words firsthand through his own devastating experience of the earthquake and tsunami, and he puts them all into his work.

His works reflect the aesthetics of Japan. The simplicity and sophistication of his expression translates into “wabi-sabi.” The "circle” of the round canvas, he believes is the shape of our hearts, and reminds us of the sun, the moon, and harmony, reminiscent of the Japanese flag. While Zen is quiet, its expressiveness, combined with vivid colors, is as powerful as magma flowing from a volcano. In fact, the pigment used, andesite, is a rock that has been ground to powder by magma from Mt. Fuji that has cooled and hardened. In this way, the dialectic of ‘stillness’ and ‘motion’ are beautifully expressed in his works. 

The exhibition is sponsored by:
KINNIKUMAN, Yoshitaka Fumoto, Victoria Cigar Morioka, NAKAGAWA, SHIROKIMONO, Suenaga Cultural Foundation, Gomeisa GALLERY, Masako Watase, Sasagawa Consultancy

Costume provided by Yusunoki Mutsuko and OHGA(Hōshō)


Born in 1990 in Miyagi, Japan, Hayasaka is a self taught multidisciplinary artist based in Tokyo. His works have been exhibited in the US, Japan, France, and Czech Republic, including the exhibitions “The 2nd Kyoto Daimonji Art Lovers’ Meeting“(2023), “Toshiki Hayasaka:Sword Strokes” curated by Kyoko Sato (Time Gallery, New York, 2022), “Paris Salon de Art Japonais” (Linda Farrell Gallery, Paris, 2022), “Anniversary of 100 Years, Japan and Czech Cultural Exchange Art Show” (Czech Prague Castle, 2021), and “L’Art Sous Le Feu Du Daimonji” (Consul General of France in Kyoto, 2022).

He opened the Kyoto Gallery ENISHI in 2023. Hayasaka has a special right to use jade from Itoigawa river in Niigata, Japan for his paintings. He received a Bachelors in Economics from the Tohoku Gakuin University in 2012, and participated in the London Olympic trials as a swimmer in 2010.

Guest artist: TOM CHIU
New music champion and recipient of the CMA Commissioning Grant, violinist and composer Tom Chiu has performed over 200 premieres worldwide by influential musicians including Muhal Abrams, Ornette Coleman, Oliver Lake, Phill Niblock, Henry Threadgill, at international venues such as BBC, Park Avenue Armory, Louis Vuitton Gallery Tokyo, STEIM Amsterdam, Roulette, EMPAC, Walker Art Center, Mount Tremper Arts, MOMA PS1 and more. As founder of the FLUX Quartet, he had led a pioneering ensemble which has “brought a new renaissance to quartet music.” (Village Voice) Chiu holds degrees in chemistry and music from Yale and Juilliard, and frequently appears as a cultural consultant in a variety of artistic formats, most recently as panelist for the NEA.

Related Events