REPETITIVE FACES BY YOSHITISHI KANEMAKI

by Ariadna Zierold

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Japanese sculptor Yoshitoshi Kanemaki carves life-size sculptures from wood, but with a twist of mortality and transience. The disturbing pieces hinge often hinge on grotesque as the combination of the bulging weight and density of wood heightens the certainty of death that looms over all his creations. Each piece, with sizes ranging from life-size to miniature, is first sketched directly onto a large section of camphor wood and then chiseled to match the absurd female form.

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BIZARRE FANTASY WORLD BY TOM EGLINGTON

by Ariadna Zierold

tom eglington, illustrator, illustration, vintage, Japanese, 70s, scifi, comics, bizarre, symbols, lowbrow, pop art, colorful, upper playground

Tom Eglington is a self-taught artist and writer. He has developed an illustration style that combines elements of vintage Japanese prints, 70s sci-fi, outsider art, comics and collage. From William Burroughs to Jack Kirby via Henry Darger, his work channels a bizarre fantasy world of occult symbols, lowbrow pop art and hallucinatory visuals.

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METICULOUS COMPLEXITY BY FUMIHIRO KATO

by Ariadna Zierold

fumihiro kato, japan, japanese, complex, meticulous, intricate, lines, colorful, vibrant, landscapes, abstract, upper playground

Japanese artist, Fumihiro Kato, creates his art with a style that has a very complex and meticulous technique, filled with intricate lines that are almost creating designs within designs.

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He has been active since the early 2000’s, displaying his numerous works ranging from abstract to landscapes with his own special touch, which is described as on his website as his “own original painting technique, which has never been used by anyone before.”

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SKINNED SCULPTURES AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY MASAO KINOSHITA

by Ariadna Zierold

masao kinoshita, sculpture, illustration, skinned, anatomical, anatomy, animal, anthropomorphic, wood, resin, bronze, japan, japanese, muscles, surreal, upper playground

Masao Kinoshita draws much of his inspiration from diverse mythologies, religions and folklores from around the globe. Fusing narratives across space and time, the horned maenads of ancient Greece live alongside the Yoga Asura deities of Buddhism in a visceral, animalistic universe where fitness reigns supreme.

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Kinoshita’s sculptures stand skinned and erect. Working with materials ranging from wood to resin to bronze, the Japanese sculptor uses an aesthetic we normally associate with natural history museums to render athletic, flexing creatures of the sea and land.

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THE WORK OF MASAMI TERAOKA

by Ariadna Zierold

masami teraoka, watercolor, painting, paintings, japan, japanese, culture, traditional, humor, funny, woodblock, print, culture, america, society, los angeles, upper playground

Los Angeles based Masami Teraoka‘s early work consisted primarily of watercolor paintings and prints that mimicked the flat, bold qualities of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These paintings, done after his arrival in the United States, often featured the collision of the two cultures. Series such as McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan characterize themes in the work in this time period. These pieces blended reality with fantasy, humor with commentary, history with the present.

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He has abandoned this style in favor of Western European religious iconography, in tune with his cultural and political critique of contemporary culture, particularly its confessional quality in America society. Teraoka’s work has been reviewed, collected and exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.

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MINIATURE CITIES BY AYUMI SHIBATA

by Ariadna Zierold

AYUMI SHIBATA, CITIES, MINIATURE, PAPER, GLASS, CONTAINER, JAPANESE, UPPER PLAYGROUND

New York based Ayumi Shibata imagines delicate paper cities, entirely cut out by hand and installed into glass containers. She uses traditional methods of Japanese paper cutting to create miniature cities within vessels of glass. Her chosen materials reference the delicate relationship humans have with our environment and natural forces of our world.

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SATURATED VIOLENCE BY AIDA MAKOTO

by Ariadna Zierold

aida makoto, painting, japanese, surreal, grotesque, violent, saturated, detailed, upper playground

Aida Makoto was born in 1965 and gained a Masters in Fine Art from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts in 1991. From the outset of his career, Aida began to paint in the style of ‘strangeness’ that identifies him today and which saw him regularly exhibiting across Japan from 1992, and from 2001 internationally in Germany, London and the USA.

aida makoto, painting, japanese, surreal, grotesque, violent, saturated, detailed, upper playground

It is perhaps easy to write off Makoto as a pop artist out to shock with images of grotesque sexuality, young girls and violence. However, a deeper look into his philosophy as an artist shows he is using traditional themes to comment on contemporary Japanese society.

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AMAZING JUXTAPOSITIONS BY YOSUKE UENO

by Ariadna Zierold

yosuke ueno, illustration, painting, japanese, pop, surrealism, colorful, detailed, juxtaposition, symbolism, characters, upper playground

Yosuke Ueno is a self-taught Japanese artist, working in the style of pop surrealism. Born in Japan in 1977, he has been creating his unique and colorful world since his early age, and as a result Ueno’s first solo exhibition was in 1994 in Yamaguchi, when he was just 16 years old.

yosuke ueno, illustration, painting, japanese, pop, surrealism, colorful, detailed, juxtaposition, symbolism, characters, upper playground

Weird, creepy but in a beautiful kind of way, Ueno’s art stands out for its interesting juxtapositions and hidden symbolism. Skulls, swans, scissors and amazing characters appear in his paintings, making you wonder what kind of hidden message they all carry.

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