There’s something endearing but also “off” about the dogs of Akina Tokiyoshi. Glitchy, perhaps, is the right word. As their beady eyes stare back, you feel like you’ve slipped in between a real and digital world; somewhere in the middle of here and there.
Indeed, Tokiyoshi, who graduated from Kyoto University of Art and Design in 2016, breathes life into her dogs in a peculiar process that’s simultaneously digital and analog: a mixed breed of craft and fine art.
Armed with only her smartphone, Tokiyoshi snaps photos of dogs in her neighborhood or dogs she encounters along her walking path. With approval of the owners, she takes an exhausting number of photos from all angles and then heads to a printer where she prints out the photos and begins the task of reassembling the dogs, photo by photo.
Over a period of roughly 5 days she collages the dog to life, filling it with old newspaper and using the very analog process of cut & paste (with scissors and glue) to adjust the irregularities.
Tokiyoshi won first place in the graphics category of a recent art competition and was awarded a solo show, which was on display this month at Guardian Garden gallery in Tokyo. For the show, she took photographs of her room, printed them out and reassembled them in the gallery much in the same way that she creates her dogs. The animals then joined her in the space for a whimsical, surreal exhibition.