Toshio Saeki’s Enduring Legacy


Like most impactful art movements, Ero Guro Nansensu was fostered in a decadent incubator. Much like France in the late nineteenth century, Japan in the 1930s spurred a sensation of the deviant and bizarre, establishing a new bourgeois cultural phenomenon. It was launched as a movement with a loud voice, speaking for resistance and as a societal critique. One of the movements’ more recent and notorious artists, Toshio Saeki, has published his works for over 50 years and is still active today. Charlotte Jansen, art critic extraordinaire, writes on Saeki’s history and lasting impression. Having previously interviewed Saeki for Dazed, Jansen writes intimately of the artist and his most unassuming life. Lustrated as the Godfather of Japanese Erotica”, Saeki remains a major influence to such artists as Shintaro Kago (recently noted for his work with Flying Lotus) and Suehiro Maruo. With a gratuitous nod to the historical artistic tradition of shunga, Saeki’s works shamelessly display imaginative carnality and surreality. His images, often inexplicable, are meant to conjure any feeling from the viewer. Saeki explains. “If the reality hidden in my soul—even if it is only the smallest fragment of it—is able to evoke something in the viewer, then my intention has been achieved.” Check out the rest of Jansen’s article here.