"English is not my native language"

15 January 2017

Newspaper Article

Thank you Kit!!! A reporter from The Japan Times, Ms. Kit Nagamura wrote an article introducing my work.

Finding the workshop of 68-years-old Ichiyoh Haga is a bit tricky, but worth the hunt.
Inside his studio, once a car garage, I find Haga and his apprentice, Mayumi Tayama, hard at work. Mayumi is making teeny window frames no larger than her thumb, and Haga is fashioning a bucket smaller than a thimble. Cut from a large paper clamp, and painstakingly soldered and filed, the tiny bucket is destined to be a prop in one of the fantastical creations that Haga is famous for building.
"People call what I do 'miniatures,' " he says, "but there must be a better word for it. What I do is a form of art."
To prove it to me, Haga escorts me to the building next door, and unlocks his personal gallery (entry fee 100 yen for adults, 10 yen for children). Inside, displayed on easels, is a serious of romantic Parisian shop fronts, done in extraordinarily realistic detail, and all fashioned by hand at approximately 1/12 scale. Each of Haga's "Art in A box" series measures roughly 60-by-80 centimeters in size, but peering into each box's depths, artistically spot lit and rendered with breathtaking authenticity, is like seeing into a delicate past. Each work is empty of people, but bears the patina of aging and Haga's palpable empathy for the bits and pieces that make up our human lives. None of the works are based entirely on an actual shop or street, yet the viewer is imbued with a powerful sense of nostalgia for what never really existed. "The scenes are from my imagination," Haga says. "Sometimes at night, I cannot figure out what the next details will bec but then I dream them, and wake up to make them real."
Haga leaves to me examine the series on my own, and Ifm mesmerized by the details: the perfect baguettes and the flickering light in an early morning boulangerie the mop propped in the corner of a cafe, the art gallery with real miniature paintings inside.
Gradually, I get it. These aren't just models or miniatures, but 3-D evocations of an interior vision, as artistic as Giorgio De Chirico's or Maurice Utrillofs paintings of street scenes.
With a background in the fashion business, Haga only started creating his works at age 48.
"The economic bubble burst and, as a diversion, I made a model of a small train station," he says.
People immediately noticed his talent, and before long, Haga had commissions from places such as Ito-ya, who had him recreate their 1930s stationery store from blurry photographs, and Nicorette, which had him make a miniature Japanese tavern for a TV commercial.
"When I did the Micorette job," Haga says, with a laugh, "I actually quit smoking."
I spend over an hour watching Haga finish the teeny bucket he was working on. Deftly wielding needle-nose pliers, soldering tips, torches, files and, finally, dunking the bucket in a "poison-like" chemical bath for aging, Haga sets up the perfect tiny replica. It's Lilliputian perfection.
The afternoon is turning a slightly blue shade outside, so I decide to call it a day. Thanking Haga-san, I bow farewell. His workshop, full of tools, neat wooden cabinets and industrial lighting fixtures overhead, would make an awesome artwork, I think.

The Japan Times Dec 25, 2016

15 January 2017

3 January 2017

Happy New Year !!

Last spring I redecorated the first floor of my house creating an exhibit space (gallery) for my works. There was one visitor that came almost every day in spite of the location being inconvenient. This visitor sponsored an art exhibition, so it was decided that my work of Ueno would be exhibited. The visitor was also a newspaper reporter, now my work has been introduced in the paper. Many wonderful events of various kinds have been held there. It's called Gallery ICHIYOH. Currently my work is on exhibit there.

Title: Ichiyoh Haga's Work Exhibition
Place: Gallery ICHIYOH (3-23-22 Nakazato Kitaku Tokyo)
Schedule: Until Jan 14, 2017 ( close on 14th once, but we are going to reopen it inApril)
Open: 10:00 am ~ 18:00 pm
Admission: 100 yen
*Please arrive after making a reservation by email (ichiyoh@jcom.zaq.ne.jp) or a telephone (080-5497-3497).


3 January 2017

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