Living god and underground icon in Japan, Toshio Saeki is the inventor of a unique style, in a field that he has totally transformed, the ero-guro (literally: erotic-grotesque scenes). This genre goes back to the origins of classical Japanese drawing and has given rise to many prints over the centuries. But Saeki, by declining traditional motifs, mixed them with the anxieties specific to his generation, which experienced the hopes and disillusions of the 1970s.
The modern world, its violence and its defects interfere in timeless scenes, producing new monsters and fantasies that we had never been able to imagine before. Stimulated by the censorship that rages in Japan (it is forbidden to show the sexes) Saeki makes the prohibition an artistic constraint and deports to the absurd and the dreamlike the oldest subject in the world.
His unique style, which reminds many Europeans of the famous "clear line" of Hergé and Joost Swarte, is strange both for the Japanese reader and for the Western reader, each finding in this line of perfect simplicity a form of unique exoticism. This perception can only be explained by the absolute originality of an extravagant work, straight out of the pen of an artist who has devoted his life to tracing as closely as possible "what takes place in his head when he closes the eyes ".
Rêve écarlate is the first volume of a chronological and reasoned anthology of the work of Toshio Saeki, a world first for this well-known author whose publications are rare, particularly in Europe. Made from the author's originals, the book is sold as far away as Japan (the preface is translated into English and Japanese). The colorization, carried out in close collaboration with Saeki, takes up the original colors and their deliciously pop approach.