Our new drop, Esoteric has invited one of great artist Tetsunori Tawaraya who made Torture Maniac. A graphic who inspired by ghost series of Javanese shadow puppets. There are few surprises here, but it gives a comprehensive overview of him. He described well about his daily until what’s his favorite tune. Below are the questions during our interview with Tetsunori Tawaraya.
1. Hi man! Be our guest, let us know yourself?
My name is Tetsunori. I live in Tokyo. I draw and play music.
2. For how long you start this kind of art things?
There is a drawing of toilet I did when I was 3, Duchamp would shit his pants if he saw it. Which I don’t remember doing it, but the earliest memory was drawing one eye character when I was 4 or 5. Self-taught since then. I became more serious about it in 1999. So it’s been 20 years.
3. We all know that you are very talented. Then, you have some cool clients. Some coming from bands, then brands. What you excited the most? (what made you excited? or..?)
Fortunately, my work had been exposed to rad people who I wanted to work with, and we naturally connected over social media and such. I get excited when I hear the story behind. When Volcom discovered my art, their design team was walking in Shibuya, and saw the cigarette pattern shirt at random shop over the glass window. So they entered this clothing shop Birthdeath where the shop owner just purchased my original artwork a few months before this, so they got to see my work and books. Interesting thing is to think what if Birthdeath never made that cigarette shirt, or the shop owner didn’t purchase my originals, they never found me. When Time, Place, and Person synchronized perfectly, some exciting things happen.
4. Do you have specialize medium for doing art? (Do you use specific medium for making art?)
I use simple analog stuff, like pen, paper, brush, canvas, spray can, sponge, scratchboard, etc. I don’t draw digitally. Love the real paper texture and sloppy ink splatter.
5. What you usually do before your artwork? I mean, what is your influences?
Sometimes I have ideas in mind, other times I don’t. I like the mixture of experimental and classic style. Old horror novel illustrations like Virgil Finlay is very classic, I could tell that it was very innovating at the time. I often enjoy looking at skillful artworks like that.
6. What`s your biggest inspiration so far for your graphic?
Shit, I don’t make a chart like that, but Gordon Matta-Clark: Mutation in Space, and Will Sweeney: Vorpal Sword were the most influential exhibitions happened in Tokyo in 2018.
7. What makes you interest, when we ask you for collaborate with Domestik? Is it quite new for the brand, isn`t it?
I remember we traded a bunch of stuff before we started talking about collab. It was a good first step to have your product in my hand, because all I see on the phone or any screens in daily life won’t leave any memory on my brain. It’s too much information, I feel like I can’t breathe. After the swap, your tote bag was laying down on the floor for a few days, and I became curious about the certain symbol you used. So I asked you what it was. You told me it was a symbol of local record label from 70s. I thought it was cool that you use something actually existed back in the day, and probably no one knows about it. If your tote bag didn’t have anything interesting, our conversation wouldn’t get developed to do collab. I don’t care if the brand is new or not. All I care is if they make “blood pumping” real shit or not.
8. Our country have a rich cultural things, some part coming on Esoteric. Siksa Neraka taken as influence then you visualize into lo-fi style of drawing. What do you feel about that? How`s the process?
First time you showed me Siksa Neraka comics, it totally stuck on my head. It’s full of gory torture hell. I remember seeing old Japanese painters used to draw many versions of hell too, but never seen anything in comic style, so Indonesian kept updating their version of ancient hell tales in the comic strip like Siksa Neraka, that’s very inspirational. The process was good, I really liked the old card designs of Esoteric, so I drew to match up with that.
9. How`s your first impression about Esoteric, of course in frame of Domestik vibes?
I found a lot of interesting designs, and the body parts were more compacted since the card measurements were extremely small which made everything cuter against blood full of content. It was just a brilliant mixture.
10. How far you realize about life after death?
My soul will be thrown in random bug’s body soon after eating ramen in between.
11. Let us know what is your favorite band, brand?
I really don’t buy clothes that much. Customizing thrift store clothes is still my favorite. I always love The Locust, hope they will make more music and play shows again.
12. If you have favorite tunes while you make art things, Any recommend tune list for us?
I still listen to the bands from 90s, 00s, SoCal weird music. I wish I bought all the vinyls on GSL. It’s hard to find them once the label doesn’t exist anymore. Everything on Three One G is still awesome, though.
13. What`s your plan in 2019?
Releasing 3 different solo books on Colour Code, Hollow Press, Le Dernier Cri, also solo newspaper by Desert Island. Book release tour, and possibly stop by at Gary Panter’s hippy shop exhibition at Rozz Tox gallery in Florence, MA. I’m contributing some work for it, and that place is run by Byron Coley. That’ll be nice to see both of them. 6 mini-figure release on Unbox Industries, guitar pedal collab with Life is Unfair, and a lot more.
14. Last, any nagging words?
Burn TV and make some art.
Interview by Arief Yulindra
Image source https://tetsunoritawaraya.com/