The interview with the artists
Of course, we couldn't resist to share with you our passion for this small japanese workshop, where each day the team of.. let's say insane artists, work on the design of the dolls...
Artists, because everything is made by hand ! Doll after doll, mould after mould, patience, meticulous work (sometimes, 3 days of work are necessary to carry out only one operation on the same doll), and especially enthusiasm, or rather, exhilaration, which is evident from their expression as each doll is finished.
The joy they take to manoeuvre them into various positions, to take them in their arms, to dress them, or just to remain seated and admiring them, made us feel all the passion that emanates from this chaotic workshop, where pots of paints, wigs and papers lie around, and where computers are covered with dust and silicone...
It's this love for these dolls that fuels everyday their desire to test, to create, to throw away whole moulds of faces, to give birth to silicone goddesses constantly more perfect one after the other.
So we have asked this enthusiastic team some questions on your behalf :
Sarah, of Doll Story : Mister Atsumi, please tell us a bit about your path until this workshop
M. Atsumi : I studied Arts at the Artistic University of Tokyo. Once I get my diploma, I had difficulties to find a job, due to a lack of opportunities...
So I worked a few times as a lorry driver for a small company in Tokyo. Then I found a Web Designer post, and while working I was writing mini scripts for an independant radio station. And then I had the chance to meet M. Okawa (the Managing Director of the workshop), and together we created a marketing company, in which I was the graphic design manager. Company which did not survive a long time in a market already full of big rivals at the time. So we wanted together to concretize one of our most beautiful fantasies, these dolls. We have worked hard several years to control the silicone and the art of the moulding.
DS : What feeds your passion for these dolls ?
M.A. : Well...(he takes a time of reflection) first of all, my love for women ! Their beauty, their curves, and secondly, I really think that all the men want to manufacture THEIR ideal doll. And to only meet the gaze of a doll fills me with an indescribable emotion, a mixture of confusion and physical attraction. Me, I imagine for each doll her own history before starting.
DS : You want to say that you make her live in your head ?
M.A. : (laughing) Yes ! I imagine her taking life, walking, talking to me with a mischievous expression, running her fingers through her hair. I imagine what she ate yesterday evening, where she went out, in what clothes she slept... I put very much love and respect in my history, and then I manufacture "her" as in my dream. And these are the dreams which overwhelm me when I'm working on her.
DS : And for each doll a different history ?
M.A. : (laughing) Yes. And it has never been difficult because I'm impassioned by my work. It sometimes happens to me, while I am manufacturing the clay mould, one of the operations that takes me the most time, to think that my goddess has drink too much the day before, and that her face has lost its charm, then it's impossible to carry on ! Her beauty disappears. So I throw away the moulds even thow they are almost finished, and I start again.
And we had a lot of questions such as these, however at this moment, a future purchaser arrives in the workshop... from the first moment, there is a glimmer in his eyes as he looks at the dolls, a look full of both surprise and love. One doll was sat on an armchair, crossed legs, wearing a cligny pink tee-shirt, a black miniskirt, with a mischievous look, another lying down, closed-eyes, as if she was sleeping, an arm along her pelvis, the other on her breast, dressed with a white silk baby doll nightie...
There were a few seconds of silence, just enough time to grasp all the attraction that settles between these goddesses and this man, although they are only inert silicone objects.
We feel the inevitable sexual pression invading the whole room.
Later, we learn that this same man had already bought lots of clothes, underwear, pairs of shoes and jewels for his future lovedoll !
We think about many things in a moment like this : we think about little girls playing with their dolls, dressing them, talking to them, having tea parties ; we think that we had the proof in front of us, thanks to this man, that we are inevitably moving into a new era, where the android will brush aside all the other sexual objects known today from her path, starting from the inflatable. We think about the aura that emanates from these dolls ; we think about this new kind of art that they represent, because above all... they are really beautiful...
Doll Story : Mister Sato, how did you land up among these dolls ?M. Sato :
Me, originally I was a consumer of dolls ! (laughing) It's true, I have mine which waits for me every evening when I come back from the workshop. I dress her, I caress her, I spend an incredible amount of time contemplating her. She still surprises me as much by her beauty when I look at her. It can seem crazy, but I don't use her only to make love ! She's part of the decoration, she's art, and nobody remains insensitive in front of her. DS : Is it this admiration that has driven you to work here ?M.S. :
Yes. I was immediately curious to know how they were manufactured. So I contacted the workshop because I knew that I could help with my knowledge concerning the skeleton. And now I'm myself responsible for the joint movements and for the skeleton in general. It takes a lot of time, and I'm constantly thinking about the possible improvements, even if the current dolls are already very advanced. And I help Mister Atsumi at each step of the fabrication too.
DS : At what time(s) do you feel rewarded for all this work ?
M.S. : It's very easy to answer you, because I'm myself an owner of a doll. I feel rewarded on one hand with the odd emotion that I feel each time I look at mine. I know that all the customers love their dolls as much as I love mine. And also when I saw you, yourselves and the customer a little while ago, granting a few seconds of contemplation to the dolls when you saw them for the first time ! Invariably the same thing happens everytime : all the looks are focused on them, and you cannot imagine how much these few seconds of silence and respect for them fill us, my team and me, with an immense pride, and make us want to go always further.