Dystopian ‘Collaged’ Figurines by Hiroki Tsukuda Depict The Darkest Hour

all images courtesy Nazuka Underground

The Contemporary artist Hiroki Tsukuda was born in Kagawa in 1978 and grew up in Japan during the 80s and 90s. Like many of us, he steeped himself in the fantasy and science fiction-based franchises of the time including Star Wars, Gundam and Monster Hunter. The dark and bleak futures depicted in the works of fiction seemed to be just that: fiction. But we continue to find ourselves in times war, poverty and social unrest. It is this discrepancy that is the driving force behind the artist’s work, which includes disassembled and reassembled “collaged” figurines from the artist’s personal collection, as well as dystopian, detailed drawings that present themselves like advertisements from an alternate reality.

installation view of “The Darkest Hour” (2022)

Tsukuda’s latest works are part of an exhibition titled “The Darkest Hour“, currently on view at the Tokyo gallery Nanzuka Underground. And although bleak, the exhibition, just like the expression, offers a glimmer of hope: that better, brighter times are ahead. The artist leaves us with the first stanza from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s most-famous poem:

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light”

Dylan Thomas

“The Darkest Hour” is on view at Nanzuka Underground from June 18 – July 17, 2022. You can follow the artist on Instagram.







3 Comments

  1. beginner level kitbashing.

  2. Everyone’s a critic, let’s see your work? I appreciate the vision + pop culture nostalgia – very cool. Thx for profiling

  3. Gregory Friedman

    July 9, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Fascinating work. I’m not sure I agree with the interpretation, though. I think his use of the Dylan Thomas quote is intended as a warning, a call to action, for us. We may be heading towards becoming like the hideous, semi-human creatures the artist has created. It is up to us to rage, rage against the dying of the light–to maintain our humanity in the face of dehumanizing forces and technologies. My take.

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