SUGINO ichiwo

november 22, 1965 . japan

Ichiwo Sugino lives in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. When he was two years old, he was left in the care of his grandparents after his parents moved for financial reasons. Traumatized by the parental abandonment, he found in the famous comic books by Yoshiharu Tsuge, inventor of watakushi manga (I-comic), a world that seemed to want to welcome and protect him. Talented at drawing, Sugino worked in an advertising design firm but, approaching fifty years of age and feeling unfulfilled, he was searching for a model. One day, a person whom he knew asked Sugino why he was letting his hair grow long. It was because he wanted to look like Taro Kida, a popular Japanese model. As a joke, this person encouraged him to persevere with his attempts at emulation. He took his friend at his word and, when he got home, he began to mold his face with adhesive tape until he actually did look like Kida. This experiment with transformation was the first in a long series that continues today. These days, Sugino posts his photographs that show him metamorphosed into figures that he admires (among them Alfred Hitchcock, Andy Warhol, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and Albert Einstein) on Instagram. He still uses adhesive tape but also make-up and various props (wigs and glasses).