Online gallery of Japanese contemporary art

New Arrival: Cute but scary photographs by Tamanoi


"Chocolis" by Tetsuya Tamanoi

“Chocolis” by Tetsuya Tamanoi

AZITO is pleased to introduce the cute but scary photographs by Tetsuya Tamanoi.

"Troza" by Tetsuya Tamanoi

“Troza” by Tetsuya Tamanoi

"Chengo" by Tetsuya Tamanoi

“Chengo” by Tetsuya Tamanoi

"Chengo" by Tetsuya Tamanoi

“Chengo” by Tetsuya Tamanoi

"Chulebu" by Tetsuya Tamanoi

“Chulebu” by Tetsuya Tamanoi


text by Teriha Faye Yaegashi

Like a child’s imagination coming true, Tamanoi‘s debut photo series explores what happens when two of his favorite things – candy and horror movies – become one and the same.
The effect is addictive. Tapping into a person’s instinctual delight, as well as sense of humor, one cannot help but find that these images seem to speak to the “id”; and, not unlike a sugar rush, the urge to have more is almost compulsory.

Tetsuya Tamanoi was born in —- and is a visual artist and graphic designer, with an impressive client roster. His technical excellence is due, in part, to his past experience as a sculptor in Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki studio, where perfection is the norm. However, Tamanoi‘s sense of humor and fantasy is all his own.

In Chengo“, Tamanoi has designed a cookie-chainsaw. Rendered with the drama of bloodshed, this image captures an ironic humor; made even more explicit by the cute gumdrop accents of the custom frame.

And in “Chengo” with a girl, Tamanoi captures the menacing effect of that very chainsaw, as a young blond child leans nonchalantly against a wall, blood-spattered and candy-chainsaw in hand. It is at once horrifying to imagine that the child could have committed such a repulsive act of violence; or what could happen if a child-like unawareness of consequence turns into senseless bloodshed. The toy-like aspect of the candy-chainsaw is both humorous, yet makes the image all the more disturbing; although any blood shed by a cookie-gun has no bearing in reality, the violence comes to life in the child’s imagination via Tamanoi’s image. It illustrates the cognitive dissonance of a child’s sweetness turning into aggression.

Chulebu” is rendered like a still from a horror film, the aftermath of violence. A figure lays prostrate, with chocolately-looking blood spilling onto the floor. It captures the true essence of this series: what can happen when you get to live out your fantasies? The delight and humor of finding out the absurdity of our interests…and how they define us as individuals.