Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sayaka Maruyama and Tomihiro Kono


       Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to a couple of wonderful Japanese artists. Sayaka Maruyama and Tomihiro Kono. Working on artistic projects under the collaborative name of 'Neon O’Clock Works', the pair explore photography, film and installation.

         Sayaka Maruyama is an artist that uses various techniques in her artwork. She draws, paints, designs and edit films, but most of all she photographs. A graduate of Tohoku University of Art and Design, she became spellbound by the allure of trick art, which allows one to quasi-experience a surreal sense of 3-D, and in the past came to express surreal discoveries and surprises through visual tools. She prefers to create works mainly on the subject of the mysteriousness of visual sense and events, where she tries to express her originality by combining fine art and photography.

         Tomihiro Kono has been working as a hair stylist and head prop artist for ten years. One of a handful of stylists to really transcend the role of hairdresser, and enter high fashion scissors blazing. Since their move to London in 2007 he has mainly been working as a session hairstylist for fashion editorials, music, runway shows and advertisement. While doing that he began making various kind of head gear with different materials. His styles are influenced by 1920-30s Dadaism and Surrealism. 

         The two artists first collaborated in 2004 while still living in Tokyo. Maruyama began working as Kono’s assistant, drawing illustrations to accompany his photography. They clicked, and soon formed a professional and personal partnership. Three years later, the couple decided to relocate to London to try to find more opportunities and to reach a wider audience. 

         Working from the split level studio which doubles as their home in northern London, the duo create fantastical headpieces which have been used in numerous fashion shoots and music videos – think cascading crystal chandelier headdresses and crowns made of ostrich feathers. They also design bespoke wigs and stage props, produce whimsical short films and have an impressive photography portfolio. 

        If you want to see more of their work, visit their websites:

            There is also one of their short films on YouTube:


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