Nov 25 2023
Born in 1990, Hiroto Ikeuchi is a Japanese artist who creates cyberpunk wearable art combining plastic models, industrial parts, and technological gadgets. His works have a distinctive cyberpunk aesthetic, reflecting a dystopian vision of the future where humans are enhanced and oppressed by technology.
Ikeuchi's works have been featured in Balenciaga's Spring 2022 campaign, as well as in various exhibitions and media outlets around the world. In this article, we will explore Ikeuchi's background, style, and influence on cyberpunk culture.
He grew up watching science fiction movies and anime, such as Star Wars, Zoids, and Gundam, which inspired his interest in model making. He studied information design at Tama Art University, where he began to create dioramas using computer components and plastic models. He graduated in 2010 and started to develop his own style of combining ready-made models and industrial parts, creating intricate and realistic sculptures that resemble weapons, vehicles, and armor.
Ikeuchi's works are influenced by the cyberpunk genre, which emerged in the 1980s as a subgenre of science fiction. Cyberpunk stories often depict a bleak and oppressive future where technology is ubiquitous and invasive, and where society is dominated by corporations, hackers, and outcasts. Some of the most influential cyberpunk works include William Gibson's novel Neuromancer, Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner, and Katsuhiro Otomo's manga and anime Akira. Ikeuchi's works share some of the common themes and elements of cyberpunk, such as:
• The fusion of organic and mechanical elements, resulting in cyborgs, androids, and biohacking. Ikeuchi's works often feature human figures wearing his sculptures, which enhance or modify their bodies with various devices and wires. For example, his headgear series includes masks that incorporate virtual reality, headphones, flash drives, and other gadgets, which can be used by the wearer.
• The contrast between lowlife and high tech, reflecting the social and economic inequality and the alienation of individuals in a hyper-modern society. Ikeuchi's works often use cheap and recycled materials, such as plastic models, industrial parts, and electronic waste, to create complex and sophisticated sculptures that resemble high-end technology. For example, his TYPE00R series is a remake of the Tekki cockpit, a simulator for a video game, using contemporary technology.
• The subversion of authority and the empowerment of the marginalized, expressing a countercultural and anti-authoritarian attitude. Ikeuchi's works often feature characters that are rebels, outlaws, or hackers, who use technology to challenge the status quo and to create their own identity and culture. For example, his collaboration with Skeletonics, a body-enhancing robotics company, resulted in a full-body suit that allows the wearer to move freely and expressively.
Ikeuchi's works have been widely recognized and appreciated by cyberpunk fans and creators, as well as by the general public. His works have been exhibited in various galleries and museums, such as the Sai Gallery in Tokyo, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.
His works have also been featured in various media outlets, such as Dezeen, Tokion, Culted, and Grunge.
Ikeuchi has collaborated with various brands and companies to showcase his unique style and vision. One of his most notable partnerships was with Balenciaga, the luxury fashion house, for their Spring 2022 campaign.
Ikeuchi provided his headgear and exoskeletons for the models, creating a striking contrast between the futuristic and the classical. The campaign was shot in the Louvre Museum in Paris, among the famous artworks and sculptures.
Another collaboration that Ikeuchi did was with Skeletonics, a body-enhancing robotics company. He created a full-body suit that incorporated the company's technology and his own artistic elements. The suit was displayed at his solo exhibition at Sai Gallery in Tokyo, which ran from January 21 to 30, 2022.
The exhibition featured his most extensive collection of works to date, including his headgear series, his diorama artworks, and his new project with Prototype Inc, an interactive design company.
The project was a remake of the Tekki cockpit, a simulator for the Tekki video game, using contemporary technology.
Ikeuchi's solo exhibition was a rare opportunity for the public to see his works in person, as they are usually too fragile to be handled or worn. His works have also been exhibited in other venues, such as the Tokyo Design Week, the Tokyo Art Fair, and the Ars Electronica Festival in Austria. Ikeuchi has gained worldwide attention and recognition for his artworks, which blur the boundaries between art, design, and technology. He is one of the most innovative and influential artists in Japan and beyond.
One of the most popular aspects of Ikeuchi's works is his cyberpunk masks
, which are wearable sculptures that cover the face and head with various gadgets and parts. These creations have a striking and unique appearance, as well as a functional and experiential component, as they can be used by the wearer to access different technologies and information.
His masks have inspired many cyberpunk enthusiasts and artists to create their own versions, using different materials and designs. One of the examples of such creations is the cyberpunk masks from Hypebrother, a store specialized in cyberpunk accessories and clothing.
Ikeuchi's works are a remarkable example of how art can express and influence cyberpunk culture, as well as how cyberpunk culture can inspire and shape art.
Also, Ikeuchi's works are not only aesthetically pleasing and technically impressive, but also conceptually and culturally meaningful, as they reflect and comment on the relationship between humans and technology, and the possibilities and challenges of the future. Ikeuchi's works are also a source of inspiration and admiration for many cyberpunk fans and creators, who appreciate his vision and creativity, and who seek to emulate and expand his style and ideas.
His explorations and creations are a testament to the power and potential of cyberpunk art, and to the enduring and evolving appeal of cyberpunk culture.
You can browse and shop cyberpunk masks
, helmets and other futuristic headwear
inspired by the work of Hiroto Ikeuchi available for sale at Hypebrother.
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