Teiji Hayama

December 4, 2017 by Laura Gomez


Teiji Hayama was born in the south part of Japan, Kumamoto. He attended the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and graduated in 1998.

His work depicts young girls evolving into women, a physical and mental transitional stage involving social and psychological changes. Hayama‘s girl’s faces and bodies are concealed with blurry brush strokes, only theirs eyes are clearly represented, like messengers whose glassy, ambiguous gazes remind the viewer of the importance of life. The portraits are pure and uncovered. Nudity is not nakedness, but a form of innocence – one and unique entity showing the purest essence of the human being. Blending both fragility and strength, and therefore expressing their desire to keep going.

Hayama currently lives in Switzerland and has exhibited his work regularly in galleries and Art Fairs throughout the world.


Artist interview:

Name: Teiji Hayama
Age: It’s changing all time
Birthday: Everyday! I am lucky enough to still be able to do what I love.
College: London Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

How is living in Switzerland influencing you in relation to your art? In the past, I could never imagine living outside of a city. Working and living in a remote rural area like where I am right now, was unthinkable. This was actually a good thing, it helped me focus on my art even more and go to the essence of it.

How does a Japanese feel in a village in Switzerland? There aren’t many foreigners here, in the beginning people were curious about my culture and where I came from, integration wasn’t always easy. Local people living in remote areas tend to be sometimes more conservative. Communication was the most difficult task as there are 4 languages here in Switzerland. Overall, I would say that I feel lucky to be here, by living in a foreign country you have the opportunity t observe a nation in its natural environment. You learn new ways of doing things and understand how a different historical background has predefined the current attitudes.

How would you relate your art to being Japanese Chinese? Until I was 18 I grew up in Japan, my mother is Japanese and my father is Chinese but is born in Japan. My grandparents were « real »Chinese and I had the chance to live together in the same house. I would say that Art represents a translation of my culture and where I come from.

How would you define yourself as an artist? Passion and commitment to many years of work to continue to grow as an artist, and the determination to get the finished work out to the public.

Why art? How did you get involved with art? From the beginning I am devoted to art, naturally. I guess all artists are born and taught.

What art do you most identify with? Definitely with « the freedom-hungry » spirit of the 90’s photography, the last generation to experience a world without omnipresent technology.


What does “being creative” mean to you? When you create a work of art, you’re starting a conversation. Art causes people to look a little closer. To look closer at the social issues, at other people and their emotions, at the environment that surround them, and the everyday objects and life forms around them. It helps them see what is there but not easily perceived.

What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Listen to yourself

What are you trying to communicate with your art? What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? The world is full of languages, art is one of them, even when people are speaking their own native language, misunderstandings happens. When I share my work to the viewing public the gap in understanding may widen even more, sometimes the meaning is completely lost, sometimes not, but it doesn’t matter to me, because everyone can have their own interpretation. There could be unlimited meanings. Art is solely communication. Without the creator there is no Art and without someone to view or receive the Art, it has no purpose. If there is no audience to receive the message, there is no communication and therefore the Art is useless without that connection. The audience actually gives Art its very life by consuming it and interacting with it, that is what matters to me.


What themes do you pursue? Metamorphosis. The process of transformation, whether it’s the physical changing or the changes that occur in each of us throughout our life span.

What inspires you to work? Endless possibilities that art offers!

Colour: Every color has its importance

Book: Astrophysics books

Movie: I would add Denis Villeneuve’s « Arrival » and Christopher Nolan « Interstellar » on my « big » list of favorite.

Food: If I had to eat one food for the rest of my life I would chose Curry rice.

Quote: Live life with no regrets

Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start? I take a huge amount of pictures of my partner, close friends and family. I then begin to work them on in photoshop in order to create a unique portrait of someone that does not exist. Each single part of the face, eyes, nose, eyebrows, lips, expression, is reworked carefully and like the pieces of a puzzle, I start to assemble them until I am happy with the result. Once the portrait is digitally created, I can start oil painting on the canvas.


What Role does the artist have in society? I think Art can be a powerful way to bring communities together.

Do you suffer for your art? Definitely yes! The struggle to get better never ends. It’s definitely possible to be better than I am, but I don't know if it’s possible for me to be better than I am…

What do you think about the art community and market? Touchy question! High-end galleries set taste and price. If pricing were transparent, it would probably be lower and art more available to a wider range of collectors. This would be an unwelcome move for dealers and elite artists but it could also demystify the market and lower tier artists could earn more because the market would be less segmented…



Should art be funded? Why? Difficult question and long debate. Art is essential for our culture, then there should be no problem financing them from voluntary source, but if the government is financing it, bureaucratic attitudes will dominate.

What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Even there are many talented inspiring artists, I would rather chose a very influential period, the 90’s art photography scene.

What other interests do you have outside of art? When I am not working I love traveling and meeting my family as much as I can, they live in Japan and I am based in Europe.



You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art performances today? I live in a remote part of Switzerland in a small village over 1000 meters in altitude surrounded by farms, cows and wild animals. When I have some free time, I also like to travel to bigger cities like Paris, Milan and London, I could spend a month walking inside the Louvre, but always happy to go back home! I need peace and quietness to create.

How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? Only death will make this possible

some short questions now…

Colours: Life
Textures: vaporous

Describe your style;Define yourself »… Honest
Define your art: Mirror of my soul

Art Fairs: Wonderful memories, broader audience
Museums: Guggenheim

Cities: Possibilities
Travels: Finding your true self

Artists: passion
Music: Bossa Nova

Cars: Comfort and pollution

Drones: Creepy and different perspectives

Mobile App: Instagram

Who are the artist’s you admire the most? The one who never gives up no matter what.

What are your next projects? To develop my latest oil series


Where would you say your art has evolved?what horizons would you say you have targeted? In 3 words I would say, less is more . I am trying to reach the purest form with my portraits stripped of almost unnecessary visual elements and remain true to its essence. I try to focus more on essential parts like the eyes, the glance of the eyes and the atmosphere radiating from my portraits. I feel that the lack of non-essential details leads to more intimacy with my
portraits. I don’t want the eyes of the viewer to be distracted by some kind of extra embellishment.

Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? A sublime international art and culture magazine aimed at different audience, including international artists, guests, galleries, buyers, amateur and the general public.




1995 -98 Central Saint Martins London College of Art and Design
Nominated for the annual Swiss art scene exhibition organised by the Musée Cantonal des Beaux.Arts Lausanne Accrochage Vaud 2009
Nominated for the 2008 Sovereign Art Prize
Nominated 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide Luerzer’s Archive 07/08

Selected collections:
Jean Pigozzi, Japigozzi, Contemporary Japanese Art Collection
Gerald Piltzer, Switzerland
Taittinger Collection

Solo Shows:

2013 Thomas Punzmann Fine Arts, Thir-Teen, Frankfurt

2012 E¦C Gallery, INNO-SCENTS… Chicago

2011 Krisstel Martin Gallery, INFANTARIVM, Singapore

2011 Galerie T40, Düsseldorf, Germany

2010 Galerie T40, NYMPHS, Düsseldorf, Germany

2010 Janine Bean Gallery, Is this desire?, Berlin, Germany

2010 Willem Kerseboom Gallery, IDENTITEEN, Amsterdam

2010 Kunstraeume Zermatt, MADONESSENCE, Switzerland

2009 SCOPE ART SHOW Basel 2009 with Galerie T40, Germany

2009 Leslie’s Artgallery Contemporary Art, Luxembourg

2009 Galerie T40, INNOCENCE, Düsseldorf, Germany

Group Shows:

?2017 Galerie Géraldine Zberro, Paris

?2016 BLAM Gallery, The BLAM SHOW, curated by Stephen Romano

?2016 Affordable Art Fair, Klose Galerie, Germany

?2016 C.A.R. Art Fair, Klose Galerie, Germany

2016 Galerie Géraldine Zberro, Paris

2015 BLOOOM Art Show, Cologne, with PinkZeppelin Gallery, Berlin

2015 Galerie Géraldine Zberro, Beautiful Bizarre, Paris

2015 CHG CIRCA, Dreamlands, Culver City, CA

2015 PinkZeppelin Gallery, Floating Intersections, Berlin

2015 Metro Show Art Fair, NYC, with Stephen Romano Gallery

2014 Stephen Romano Gallery, Cornu Copiae, Brooklyn

2014 Manila Art Fair, Endangered Visions, curated by G. Semper, Manila

2014 Ayden Gallery, Hikari, Vancouver

2014 Dublin Art Fair with Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin

2014 La Luz De Jesus Gallery, The Coaster Show, Los Angeles

2014 Hillsboro Fine Art, Gallery and Invited Artists, Dublin

2014 Stephen Romano Gallery, Mysterium Cosmographicum, Brooklyn

2014 Hillsboro Fine Art, Collected, Dublin

2014 Scope Art Show New York with C.Emerson Fine Arts, Florida

2013 Galerie Rothamel, Dollhouse, Erfurt

2012 Scope Art Show Basel with Willem Kerseboom, Amsterdam

2012 Scope Art Show New York with C.Emerson Fine Arts, Florida

2011 Le Radar, Basse-Normandie, France

2011 C. Emerson Fine Arts, Lucid Dreams, Saint Petersburg, Florida

2011 Mio Mao Gallery, Perugia, Italy

2011 Mondo Bizzarro Gallery, The New Lost Generation, Roma, Italy

2011 Galerie T40, 7 Years Anniversary Review, Düsseldorf, Germany

2010 PAN Amsterdam with Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Amsterdam

2010 Aqua Art Miami with Galerie T40, Miami

2010 Berliner Liste with Galerie T40, Berlin

2010 SCOPE ART SHOW BASEL with Galerie T40 & Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Basel, Switzerland

2010 Mess Gallery (at Saatchi Gallery), London

2010 Art Amsterdam RAI with Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Amsterdam

2010 Artantique Jaabeurs Utrecht with Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Amsterdam

2010 The Affordable Art Fair London with bo.lee Gallery, Bath

2010 Helene Nyborg Contemporary, The Hello Show, Copenhagen, Denmark

2010 The Affordable Art Fair 2010 Brussels with Leslie’s Artgallery

2009 The Affordable Art Fair 2009 Amsterdam with Willem Kerseboom Gallery

2009 PAN Amsterdam 2009 with Willem Kerseboom Gallery

2009 Lelsie’s Artgallery, New Figurative Contemporary Art, Luxembourg

2009 Holster Projects, GODS AND RITUALS, London

2009 Espace Arlaud Lausanne, Accrochage Vaud 2009, Switzerland

2008 SCOPE ART SHOW Basel 2008, represented by Saatchi Online London, Basel, Switzerland

2007 Transition Gallery, The Painting Room, London


2013 Thomas Punzmann Fine Arts, Frankfurt, Teiji Hayama

2010 Leslie Barnig for Leslie’s Artgallery, Luxembourg, Teiji Hayama