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Toshiki Hayasaka: SWORD STROKES


Exhibition on View: 

November 23 - 27, 2022  | 11 am - 6 pm
(Nov 28, 10 -12 am)


Opening Reception | Wednesday, Nov 23, 2022,  4 - 7 pm

Hasayaka’s philosophy is simple: live in the moment. He invites us to focus on the present moment and experience our lives as a collection of moments. This philosophy is fully expressed in his series Bushido- the way of the warrior- where each round canvas is painted as the stroke of a Samurai sword. Each stroke represents a moment, together making the experience of life.

Hasayaka’s work arises from the transformative experience of catastrophe. In the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Hasayaka worked as a volunteer firefighter in search and rescue. Searching for bodies and survivors in the ruins after the tsunami, it was difficult to comprehend the ordinary lives lived just a day before. With the simple ‘thank you’ uttered by an elderly woman he rescued in Miyagi he came to understand the immense power of words. This moment became his artistic theme- Kotodama- the spirit of words. More recently, the coronavirus pandemic has confronted us all with the sudden loss of many precious lives, and radically disrupted our experience of the ‘ordinary.’ Samurai warriors, faced with the daily possibility of catastrophe, relied on their spirituality, strong sense of responsibility and respect for righteousness- all tenets of Bushido, which remain in Japanese people’s ethics and morals even today.

Hasayaka’s work reflects these Japanese Zen aesthetics. Colors and strokes are first felt, then expressed onto canvas. The simplicity of his strokes conveys Wabisabi- Japanese aesthetics emphasizing simplicity and refinement. His round canvases remind us of the sun represented on the Japanese flag, the moon and the circle representing harmony. While respecting Zen tranquility, his expression bursts onto canvas as if magma from a mountain, using the powder of andesite rock into which magma hardens as it cools. Thus, the dialectic of ‘stillness’ and ‘motion’ are beautifully expressed in his work.

"In Japanese culture, Bushido is the way of the warrior. It's a moral code concerning samurai attitudes, behavior and lifestyle. For Hayasaka, each Bushido painting captures a moment, and together they convey an experience. Like a string of pearls, each one is different yet together they create a necklace. What comes from the artist's heart is not calm, instead it is an eruption—an echo of his heart. Like stepping stones in a garden, with the execution of each canvas the artist advances forward. Like a Gutai artist, each action is an experiment and each experiment improvisational...."(PAUL LASTER,2022,Toshiki Hayasaka, a Modern-day Samurai Battling with a Brush)

About Artist : Toshiki Hayasaka

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 “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)“L’Art Sous Le Feu Du Daimonji” (Consul General of France in Kyoto, 2022), and “ART!ART! OSAKA” (Daimaru Umeda, Japan, 2021).

Received a Bachelor of Economics from the Tohoku Gakuin University in 2012, and participated in the London Olympic trials as a swimmer in 2010.


Special thanks to Kotaro Takasu, Yoshitaka Fumoto, Yasuaki Yoshida, Shinya Nakayama, Yoshiaki Watase, Koji Ishibashi, Tomokazu Takahashi, Yusunoki Mutsuko (Costume), Aki Yamamoto, Satoko Mori and Christopher Lawrence.

Curated by Kyoko Sato, the exhibition will be on view November 23 - 28, 2022, with an opening reception on November 23, 4 - 7 pm.  

For additional information or sales inquiries, please contact


Toshiki Hayasaka, a Modern-Day Samurai Battling with a Brush.” Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art. Accessed December 17, 2022.

Installation Views
Kotodama draft.jpg
Bushido draft.JPG
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