A pivotal painting in Hideaki Kawashima's career, Sebastian depicts a waifish young boy pierced with three arrows a la Saint Sebastian, a martyr executed in the same fashion by the Roman army in 288 AD. Sebastian displays the physiognomic traits that would become customary in the artist's later work: the pensive, penetrating eyes, pursed lips, the occasional nostril, and the reduced physical containers in sinuous, jellyfish-like forms, simultaneously corporeal and ephemeral. Sebastian urges the viewer to think about the finitude of our bodily existence through the arrow-riddled body seemingly floating in space and contemplatating his own pending transformation. This seminal work may also hint at Kawashima's own thoughts about his artistic identity, as he was previously a Buddhist monk prior to making the decision to paint. Equal parts self-portrait, theological study and formal primer, Sebastian stands as the keystone of Hideaki Kawashima's oeuvre.