FALLOUT BY STANISLAVA PINCHUK

by Ariadna Zierold

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Tokyo and Melbourne based Stanislava Pinchuk aka Miso is a Ukraine-born artist that  practices an interesting sort of bartering economics – when she does her trademark minimalistic and meaningful tattoos for her friends, they pay with goods or favors, not money.

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In her most recent series “FallOut” Miso explores the changing topography of the Nuclear Exclusion Zone in Fukushima, Japan through a series of pin-hole drawings, inspired by fishnets she saw strewn on the ground when visiting the site.

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THE TRIPPY ILLUSTRATIONS OF WAKANA YAMAZAKI

by Ariadna Zierold

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Wakama Yamazaki is a Japanese illustrator based in Tokyo. Her style of illustrations and drawings are rough and different. The color, psychedelic vibes, humor and the occasional nod to Japanese heritage is greatly influenced by artworks from the 1960s and 1970s, such as the animation work of Heinz Edelman for Yellow Submarine, the psychedelic poster works drawn by Victor Moscoso and underground, independent comic titles. She tends to illustrate in this way more than the traditions of Japan and the Far East.

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“DREAMING MONSTER” BY ATSUKO GOTO

by Ariadna Zierold

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Tokyo based artist Atsuko Goto builds on her own visions of dreams in her other-worldly mixed media drawings. Goto’s “dream-drawings” took particular prominence in her work after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, a time when dreaming offered both an escape from and reconciliation with a harsh reality. Her ongoing “Dreaming Monster” series depicts ethereal women, often described as “undead” or “zombie”-like in appearance, which can be attributed to her palette of grays and blues made from semi-precious Lapis-lazuli and gum arabic.

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FUTURISTIC PORTRAYALS BY HAJIME SORAYAMA

by Ariadna Zierold

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Nanzuka Gallery in Tokyo is currently showing “An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine”, a solo exhibition of new works by Hajime Sorayama (previously on Fifty24 Gallery). The prolific Japanese artist has created a series of paintings modeled after American actress Marilyn Monroe, in addition to three-dimensional manifestations of his renowned “Sexy Robot” series. The artist started this series back in 1978 and has been his most successful and recognizable body of work ever since. Following the Japanese focus on technology and science, along with his unique view of sexuality and female beauty, these works helped Sorayama establish his worldwide reputation.

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SASU’S NEW MURAL IN TOKYO

by Ariadna Zierold

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Sasu has been working on a new mural in Tokyo at the Seibu Shibuya building for the “Post-Painting” exhibition.

Known for her large murals and installations that draw upon her personal inspirations, Sasu usually collaborates with Kami, building stunning iconographies. Drawing from traditional Japanese Calligraphy and sprawling patterns, they create new sensual forms in bold colors that represent their signature style. As a duo, their work is recognized by Kami’s strong line work and Sasu’s distinctive patterns.

New Wall by David Choe in Tokyo for the Occasion of His Return to Japan

David Choe‘s long anticipated return to Japan definitely includes a wall to mark the occasion.  UP founder and curator, Matt Revelli speaks about Choe‘s career and his path to success for the occasion of his final return to Tokyo:

“Ever since we exhibited his first gallery show in San Francisco, artist David Choe has been an integral part of the Upper Playground family, traveling the world throughout Asia, Europe and North America, representing Upper Playground’s spirit and core with his own aligned to ours of getting things done when everyone says that it can’t or couldn’t be. Not a slacker or a trustafarian, David has instead imbued and embodied every act of his with a never sleep attitude governed by a respect for time and opportunity, with a direct and genuine gratitude and positivity that is as infectious as it is infamous. Like a preacher whose every canvas is a sermon, he paints and sculpts the gospel of his soul; and through the myriad of different products he creates in stores, streets, schools, and galleries worldwide, David is one of the only artists that understands how to use Upper Playground in the way it’s designed to be used. However, the shadow of history always follows its figure. Eight years ago David travelled to Tokyo to oversee an exhibition and collection created in collaboration with Upper Playground. The pendulum of his person had him switching roles from collaborator to confidant and artist to ally and it was on this trip that everything changed- we got word that David had been arrested for punching a security officer in the face and was going to be imprisoned for 7 years. Banned from visitation, we were forced to get updates through our distributor by phone. It was a roller coaster of emotions, with one day being positive and the next completely devastating. Finally, after 90 days, we got a call saying he was getting out. He returned a humble man, having lost 40-50 lbs., grateful for his experience. He didn’t curse his time or situation like most men would, his feeling was he got his due: he was in prison not for hitting the security officer, but rather, for all the crimes and sins he had committed up until then and had never been caught for. It was a cathartic experience and an opportunity to repent for all the crimes he had been committing daily throughout his entire life. And in true Choe fashion, he turned an overwhelmingly negative experience into a positive one by creating hundreds upon hundreds of prison drawings and sketches, exhibiting the work in New York. From there his paths and roads, though intricate with obstacles, would carry him to greater and higher heights that have him standing where he is today as one of the top artists in the world  still spreading the ethos of Upper Playground.People often try to dissect and understand the how’s and why’s to his success. The answer is simple: he looks at failure and success as equal opportunities. “- Matt Revelli

Latest photos from Japan check it out:

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