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Untitled   July, 1998  Pencil, acrylic, gold leaf, silver leaf on paper   230x270mm  ©Sadao Hasegawa

 I first met Sadao Hasegawa in March of 1993, at the Go Mishima exhibition at Gallery Naruyama.

 He appeared with Mr. M, an editor and pionner of gay porno magazines in Japan. This was in an era when no platform existed for BDSM, pseudo hara-kiri, paedophilia and homosexuality existed. Go Mishima was an artist who only portrayed men his entire career. He also had deep ties with the writer Yukio Mishima, and a portrait of a young man performing hara-kiri drawn by the writer was found within the articles left behind after Sadao's passing. This portrait was in my pocession for a short period of time.

 When I was young, I spent time with Japanese Surrealist painters, and Sadao mentioned that he had seen me with them on a few occasions.

 I met him one other occasion, but it was a meeting of only about 20 minutes.


Make Up   1980  Acrylic, collage on canvasboard   ©Sadao Hasegawa

 One day in the year 2000, I got a call from a man in Shizuoka named Hasegawa, asking to meet. It was Sadao's brother. He told me that Sadao had passed in Bangkok. They had reunited in Bangkok after 30 years.

 Afer Sadao's ashes returned to Japan, the family entered his home in Tokyo to find a collection of explicit paintings of men. Taken back and appalled, the family quickly threw everything into a garbage bag. While organizing his desk they came across a portrait of Yukio Mishima on a little rock, and a memo that read, "All works to be handled by Gallery Naruyama". The family then quickly retrieved everything they had meant to disgard.


Untitled   May 20, 1982  Pencil, acrylic, gouache on paper   340x290mm  ©Sadao Hasegawa

 Eight previously unseen paintings were found. These detailed works depict phallic worship. Most feature majestic men in divine, god-like costumes. I decided to exhibit them at the gallery.

 A few hundreed pieces executed between 1970 and 1999 remain under Gallery Naruyama managment.

-Akimitsu Naruyama