DRIFTWOOD SCULPTURES BY NAGATO IWASAKI

by Ariadna Zierold

nagato iwasaki, scupture, sculptures, japan, driftwood, human, humanistic, upper playground

Nagato Iwasaki’s lifelike driftwood sculptures are perfect examples of the uncanny valley — the feelings of revulsion and uneasiness one experiences from non-human objects that appear a bit too similar to real human beings. The Japanese artist’s talents in composing posture and grace creates an eerily humanistic quality in the works, set apart from the rigid figurative pieces of his contemporaries.

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TRADITIONAL MODERNISM BY FUTARO MITSUKI

by Ariadna Zierold

FUTARO MITSUKI, japan, drawing, illustration, pencil, traditional, modern, tattoo, victorian, medieval, characters, monochrome, upper playground

Japanese artist Futaro Mitsuki uses a variety of tools such as pencil, colored pencil, acrylic on paper and panel. He was born in Tokyo in 1970 and in 1998  Graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He managed to combine traditional Japanese motifs with tattoo art, along with Victorian and Medieval ages elements.

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FASHIONABLE PARANOIA BY SHINTARO KAGO

by Ariadna Zierold

shintaro kago, manga, japan, japanese, monochrome, 3d, panels, upper playground

Manga artist Shintaro Kago’s style has been called “fashionable paranoia”. He subverts the form in his provocative, occasionally grotesque narratives. Many of his manga have strongly satirical overtones, and deal with grotesque subjects such as extreme sex, scatology and body modification. In this tale, in particular, the typical panels become three-dimension vessels, from which his characters break out and manipulate.

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“MONOCHROME” GROUP EXHIBITION CURATED BY USUGROW

by Ariadna Zierold

hhh gallery, monochrome, exhibition, tokyo, usugrow, mike giant

This past month the HHH Gallery in Tokyo showed Monochrome, a group exhibition curated by Japanese artist Usugrow.

“Today, the world is brimming with information and a wide variety of techniques, painting tools, and art styles are introduced, but I wanted to think about this in a simple way and let people know that [they] can still show wonderful expression using only simple tools like normal paper, pencil, and ink. Most of the artists participating in Monochrome are originally my friends, except Kyotaro and Ozabu, who I’ve been a fan of for a while. Each artist thoroughly mastered one writing instrument such as a marker, pencil, ballpoint pen, or ink pen. What’s interesting is that all of them use [tools] that are usually categorized as ordinary stationary, not a special writing tool. That means you don’t have to buy lots of paints or brushes to start your art.”

hhh gallery, monochrome, usugrow, tokyo, the citrus report, upper playground

The tools these artists used are simple: pencils, mechanical pencils, black markers, ink pens, ink brushes, and everyday ballpoint pens. However, by carefully utilizing white space not as “blank,” but rather as information to describe space and color, the artists transform pure, untouched white canvases and paper into detailed and complex monochrome landscapes. To achieve this, the artists must enter a fierce yet meditative state of resolve as they add lines to slowly weave their worlds.

 

The exhibition featured the work from Aaron Horkey, Mike Giant, Shohei, Kyotaro, Toshikazu Nozaka, Ozabu, Sadam and Usugrow.

mike giant, monochrome, hhh gallery, tokyo, upper playground, the citrus report

This was the first-ever Japan exhibition for artists Aaron Horkey and Mike Giant.

 

Ariadna Zierold

Free Usugrow Print with Each Online Purchase at Upper Playground

For a limited time, Upper Playground and creator of ‘Shinganist’, Usugrow, is giving away one FREE 8×10 inch print with each online purchase at upperplayground.com.  The deal is only good while supplies last so be sure to take on the opportunity while it’s still available.

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The beautiful 8×10 print is from Usugrow’s HASADHU series from his work titled ‘CREATION’ done with ink on paper, currently on display at Fifty24SF Gallery. Usugrow’s solo show ‘INKFLOW’ will be open to the public until Sunday, November 23.  Check out the gallery website for more information.

Related Articles:

New Mural by Usugrow at Upper Playground SF
http://www.upperplayground.com/blogs/news-upperplayground/15601512-new-mural-by-usugrow-at-upper-playground-san-francisco

Exclusive Interview with Usugrow
http://www.upperplayground.com/blogs/news-upperplayground/15562244-upper-playground-exclusive-interview-with-japanese-artist-usugrow

New Shinganist T-shirts by Usugrow
http://www.upperplayground.com/blogs/news-upperplayground/15587608-new-shinganist-t-shirt-designs-by-usugrow

New Mural at Fifty24SF Gallery by Usugrow
http://www.upperplayground.com/blogs/news-upperplayground/15588156-new-mural-in-progress-by-usugrow-at-fifty24sf-gallery-san-francisco

New Mural by Usugrow at Upper Playground San Francisco

Japanese illustrator and calligraphist, Usugrow who opened his solo show ‘INKFLOW’ at Fifty24SF Gallery this past weekend just completed a second wall at Upper Playground, San Francisco.  Titled ‘ Talking with Moon’ the wide mural with sloped repeat patterns of the letter ‘I” has the meaning of the  “Eye” and the self ‘I” spreading out from the corner ‘Moon’.  usugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflowusugrow-upperplayground-Moon-Eye-inkflow

“INKFLOW” by USUGROW opens October 4th at Fifty24SF Gallery

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Japanese illustrator and famed calligraphist, USUGROW, who also developed the ‘Shinganist’ Brand, is opening, “INKFLOW”, a solo exhibition at Fifty24SF Gallery next week.

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“INKFLOW” opens Saturday, October 4th, 7PM at Fifty24SF Gallery located at 218 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94117.  Upper Playground will also be open special hours on opening night, well into the evening.

INKFLOW by Usugrow opens October 4th, 7PM at Fifty24SF Gallery

Tokyo based artist and founder of Shinganist brand, USUGROW is returning to San Francisco for a second show at Fifty24SF.  His highly anticipated solo show, INKFLOW,  will cover some of his best selected works alongside new work.  For the occasion, Upper Playground and Usugrow will also be releasing his new book, ‘USUGROW: Works 2007-2013‘ along with an in store Book Signing and Print Release on Sunday Sept. 28th, 3PM at Upper Playground SF on Fillmore Street.

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