Cover Art: Ryohei Hase

Ryohei Hase is an illustrator and artist based in Okinawa, Japan. Grounding Hase’s work is the contradictory nature of the mind—a darkness described as “sad and gloomy” yet “beautiful and strong.”

Hase’s Go forward and forward (2008) draws me in with its sophisticated pop surrealist style. Claustrophobic yet whimsical and drenched in detail, it invokes a watershed moment—a social point of no return, the end of privacy—the year we found Facebook.

Since then, relationships and the nature of connectivity and productivity, presentation and self-worth, have changed. As populations grow and cities swell, it’s fitting that social networks should mediate our social contracts and movements, the rise and fall of societies, the end of history itself.

As cities continue to shape the collective, we can use social media to learn and improve—to create a global community we’re proud of. Ryohei Hase’s Go forward and forward depicts our race to get there.

–Chris Delatorre