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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THE FANTASTICAL WORLD OF MOTOHIRO HAYAKAWA

by Ariadna Zierold

motohiro hayakawa, illustration, japan, japanese, comic, characters, surreal, colorful, fantastical, upper playground

Motohiro Hayakawa was raised under several graphic influences that would later bring him to the place he is now regarded in art, illustration, and comics. Science fiction and cartoons were a massive part of his life, playing a paramount role in the way he draws and paints.

motohiro hayakawa, illustration, japan, japanese, comic, characters, surreal, colorful, fantastical, upper playground

A narrative is born in each of his works and you can almost sense the fantasy crawling out and being brought into life right in front of you. Warriors, princesses, green men in space suits, and a whole lot of different creatures are a few of the characters you can count on.

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DREAMSCAPE INTERIORS BY HIROYUKI ISHII

by Ariadna Zierold

hiroyuki ishii, ilustration, minimalist, line, interior, landscape, japanese, rooms, dreamscape, upper playground

Tokyo-based illustrator Hiroyuki Ishii produces minimalist, digital line drawings of surreal interior landscapes, influenced by Japanese art, Italian design and RPG (role playing) video games.

hiroyuki ishii, ilustration, minimalist, line, interior, landscape, japanese, rooms, dreamscape, upper playground

A series of surreal illustrations based on rooms features a Dalí-esque dreamscape imagery filtered through Hiroyuki’s simple style. Explaining how he conceives the content, Hiroyuki said: “What’s in the room. What will happens in there… I wanted to see what kind of feeling you can get if you are in there with unusual items and interiors.”

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Kenji Kawakami Inventor of the Chindogu Movement

Kenji Kawakami Inventor of the Chindogu Movement

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

LE BORD DES MONDES
Exposition
18/02/2015 – 17/05/2015

 

Lips Worth Spreading

A woman’s genitalia is often the source of news these days. What can come out of it and when, what can go inside of it and how, how to shave it or let the bush sanctuary thrive, and the like.  Social media will create a holiday and/or hashtag named, “National Vagina Awareness Day” soon enough, and we’ll all be ready.
But, on the island of Japan, artist Megumi Igarashi had another plan for her vaginal lips: to fully express vaginal glory in the form of a kayak. A really wet kayak.
Since this newest installation of pop art hit the waters in 2014, Igarashi has not only been turning heads, but defending herself in court. Having parted the seas on issues pertaining to “obscenity,” Igarashi successfully exposed the hypocrisy of the heavily influenced Japanese porn culture and its “limitations” on censorship.
In 2014, Igarashi took to the Internet to crowd-fund resources to build her art project, and as a gift to her financial supporters, emailed them the 3D instructions so they could print their own vagina kayaks. This week, the Japanese courts ruled that though the kayak itself is considered “pop art” (which is totally okay), the artist went overboard by supplying the 3D instructions to the financial backers, which according to the judge, contributed to the distribution of obscene material (totally illegal in Japan.) The correct procedure is to blur genitalia portrayed in porn, sex, anime and the like, but since this project lacked any over-pixelation censorship in its printing instructions, Igarashi was fined 400,000 yen ($3,670).
From interviews conducted after the ruling, Megumi Igarashi seems to be on the pulse of quivering climaxes. She continues to spread awareness of the double standards pertaining to the expression of female sex/organs as a notion of obscenity propagated by the male perspective.
Megumi Igarashi stated, “I work to reverse the male notion that female sex can only be understood through the prism of obscenity. I’m disappointed this concept hasn’t been understood by the judge.”
Maybe the courts will see things differently now that Igarashi has rocked the boat in international press news. For more vagina power, check out Megumi Igarashi’s memoir on Amazon: “What is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy.”

#NationalVaginaAwarenessDay 

“VISIBLE DARKNESS, INVISIBLE DARKNESS” BY KEIICHI TANAAMI

by Ariadna Zierold

keiichi tanaami, painting, japanese, surreal, psychedelic, visible darkness, invisible darkness, upper playground

The Psychedelic Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami’s sensational paintings of crazy characters engaged in the chaos of war has made him a leading art figure not just in Japan, but all over the world.

keiichi tanaami, painting, japanese, surreal, psychedelic, visible darkness, invisible darkness, upper playground

In his current solo show titled “Visible Darkness, Invisible Darkness”, Tanaami continues to present these powerful images from his memories as a child during World War II. The show marks the artist’s first major solo presentation in the United States, currently on view at Sikkema Jenkins & Co in New York.

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JAPANESE FOLKLORE BY ELLIE OKAMOTO

by Ariadna Zierold

ellie okamoto, fantasy, surreal, colorful, animals, creatures, japanese, folklore, symbolism, upper playground

Ellie Okamoto’s paintings are a maelstrom of imagery teeming with rainbow-colored human figures, animals, and grotesque creatures. Her art is replete with Japanese folklore, tradition, and symbolism. Her paintings reveal clouds swirling through lush forests, carrying the spirit of animals and mythological creatures; the extinct Japanese wolf is a recurring character, once believed to be like a mountain god and the guardian of peasants since they were great hunters in mountain forests.

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