One of the most relevant figures of Japanese art in recent years has been Tetsuya Ishida (1973 – 2005). However, his short life hardly allowed him to develop all his creative genius. Even so, his paintings, extraordinarily critical of the capitalism system and contemporary Japanese society, are very valuable and highly valued works.
Refuel Tetsuya Ishida Food
A good example is this workRefueling foodthat he did in 1996. The image is explicit enough. It is as if we sat at a bar counter and were forced to eat quickly and the food was above all functional, not pleasurable, just robots making us eat. Or, are we also robots?
Undoubtedly Ishida is concerned about the excessive technology of today's society, and that economic values prevail over humanitarian ones. Also keep in mind that when he started painting in the early 1990s, Japan was experiencing a severe crisis that led the country into recession.
He captures how the population lives incommunicado and is controlled by hidden forces that are beyond his control. He criticizes the forms of work, but he also focuses on many cadres in the educational system because more than training and educating, the alienation of the person from childhood is being helped
Criticizes consumerism, speculation, the processes thatThey turn men into automatons. It is a constant criticism and of course it is also the result of his personal situation, and it is that he did not make a living from these paintings. Actually, he invested what he earned in his art, and was part of that alienation that surrounds the Japanese. He had a job that didn't take up the entire working day and the little he earned was used to eat the same thing, the cheapest, and then buy painting materials at a cheap store.
In other words, he himself was a good representative of the vision he had of his countrymen. A society in which there are concepts such as karoshi, which is to die from overwork, or where many young people isolate themselves completely and develop a virtual life.
That is why he portrays himself and portrays all his compatriots with protagonists in his paintings who are absolutely neutral characters, without any quality that individualizes them and allows us to distinguish or remember them. That feeling is also helped by the cold tones that always bathe these images. The result is people who look like things, something that at times has crazy and even surreal touches.
In the same line we can also understand his death, which is not clear that it was a suicide, although it seems most likely. He just got run over inside his car, as he was left standing in the middle of a railway level crossing, and was run over by the train. It is not certain if it was an accident or a suicide, but seeing his art, his vision of the world and his way of life, it is probable thatdecided to end it all at the age of 32.