sadao hasegawa Toucan
4 min

The Universe Of Gay Gods In The Art Of Sadao Hasegawa

4 min

If The Beatles were an avant-garde gay band with complicated concepts and their own religion, something between Coil and Psychic TV, then the Japanese artist Sadao Hasegawa (1945-1999) would be their all-time favorite designer. He could become an underground icon of the hippie sixties and seventies with the people's enthusiasm about cults, drugs, and free love, but for some reason, Hasegawa didn't want to be famous abroad. Yet our suggestion allows us to fully describe the art of this mystic who preferred committing suicide rather than getting old.

 sadao hasegawa gay art

Fig. 1.

 homoerotic art

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 sadao hasegawa homoerotica

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 sadao hasegawa graphic artist

Fig. 4.

 sadao hasegawa  That Floating Feeling

Fig. 5. That Floating Feeling, 1980 (

 sadao hasegawa Dragon God,

Fig. 6. Dragon God, 1981 (

 sadao hasegawa Toucan

Fig. 7. Toucan, 1978 (

 sadao hasegawa

Fig. 8.

 sadao hasegawa Japanese artist

Fig. 9. The Talons of the Emissary, 1981 (

 sado hasegawa Festivities I

Fig. 10. Festivities I, 1981 (

Show Then Tell

Sadao Hasegawa was born in 1945 in the Tōkai region of Japan. There's no info on whether he had an art education, yet it's known that he started traveling in his twenties, which shaped the artist's approach and the range of themes in his vivid images. Moreover, it seems his exotic experience of visiting India eventually made him take up drawing. Already in 1973, his first solo exhibition, Sadao Hasegawa's Alchemism: Meditation for 1973, was held in Tokyo, presenting oil paintings, collages, drawings, and sculptures. Curiously, the first one-man exposition happened five years before Hasegawa's first appearance in Barazoku gay magazine. Later, the artist would publish his works in a number of other Japanese gay periodicals like Sabu, Samson, and Adon.

 sadao hasegawa Japanese gay artist

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sadao hasegawa prints

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sadao hasegawa gay man with dildo

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sadao hasegawa nude gay man in chair

Fig. 14.

Own Aesthetic

In the 1980s, Hasegawa regularly visited Bali and Thailand, so the local spiritual and visual motifs became the base of his own aesthetic. In the 1990s, overcoming his reluctance to show his works abroad, he published the 76-page book SADAO HASEGAWA: Paintings and Drawings in GMP, England. After this publication, the artist rejected numerous offers from overseas art dealers. In 1996, his second and last book Paradise Visions was released by Kochi Studio.

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Click HERE for an article on Gengoroh Tagame, the Marquise De Sade of Japanese gay art