Contemporary Japanese Art

Japanese contemporary art takes as many forms and expresses as many different ideas as contemporary art in general, worldwide. It ranges from advertisements, anime, video games, and architecture to sculpture, painting, and drawing in all their myriad forms. Many artists do continue to paint in the traditional manner, with black ink and color on paper or silk. Some of these depict traditional subject matter in the traditional styles, while others explore new and different motifs and styles, while using the traditional media. Still others eschew native media and styles, embracing Western oil paints or any number of other forms. (Read more…)

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Featured Contemporary Artists

KAZUYA AKIMOTO [VIEW GALLERY]

Kazuya Akimoto was born and educated in Tokyo. His philosophy about his art is: “If it is not a masterpiece, then it is a waste of time, both for an artist who created it and those who are forced or happen to see it.” (Read more…)

CHIHO AOSHIMA [VIEW GALLERY]

Chiho Aoshima (born 1974) is a Japanese pop artist and member of Takashi Murakami‘s Kaikai Kiki Collective. This young graphic artist began in Murakami’s factory with no formal art training. Aoshima’s work often involves surreal scenes and dreamscapes, often including ghosts, demons, nature and young women. Aoshima now lives and works in Tokyo. (Read more…)

TIM ERNST [VIEW GALLERY]

Tim Ernst is a freelance cartoonist/illustrator/photographer/teacher who has lived in Japan for more than 30 years. His works have appeared in several publications,exhibitions in Japan and internationally, and in television appearances. He has co-authored/authored or illustrated for more that 20 publications over the years and in several newspaper and magazine columns and articles. He lives in Akita, northern Japan, where he is in constant search for the perfect Akita Bijin to draw or photograph. (Read more…)

TOKYO GENSO [VIEW GALLERY]

Tokyo Genso has produced a remarkable series portraying a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. His art portrays some of Tokyo’s more well-known landmarks as they might appear after all the people are gone and nature has taken over. (Read more…)

YASUNARI IKENAGA [VIEW GALLERY]

Ikenaga Yasunari’s (born 1965) paintings portray beautiful women with dreamy expressions and postures. But what is also interesting is his exquisite pattern designs. His paintings are of modern women but use the Nihonga painting style to reflect ancient Japanese traditions, which gives his works a timeless feel. (Read more…)

CHIYUKY ITOGA [VIEW GALLERY]

Chiyuky Itoga is a Japanese artist who studied sculpture and worked in textile design before deciding to become a serious artist. (Read more…)

TSURUYA KOKEI [VIEW GALLERY]

Tsurya Kokei (born 1946) is known for his colorful portraits of modern-day kabuki actors. His inspiration is taken from the famous 18th-century ukiyo-e artist Sharaku, who also was known for his kabuki actor portraits. (Read more…)

YAYOI KUSAMA [VIEW GALLERY]

Yayoi Kusuma (born 1929) is one of Japan’s most famous artists. She is an avant-garde sculptor, painter and novelist. She is known as the “Polka-Dot Queen” for her love of polka-dots as a motif. (Read more…)

SUEHIRO MARUO [VIEW GALLERY]

Suehiro Maruo (born 1956) is a Japanese manga artist who works in a genre know as “ero-guro,” or “erotic grotesque.” His graphic  images – he has a penchant for human oddities, sex and violence – caused some of his early work to be rejected, but by 1980 he had established himself as a bona fide manga artist. (Read more…)

FUYUKO MATSUI [VIEW GALLERY]

Fuyuko Matsui (born 1974) is a Japanese artist, specializing in Nihonga paintings with a ‘grotesque’ or supernatural element. Her art has been widely exhibited in Japan and she has been featured on TV and in magazines. (Read more…)

RIEKO MORITA [VIEW GALLERY]

Rieko Morita is known for portraits of Maiko (apprentice Geisha), as well as subjects like seasonal flowers and exotic women. (Read more…)

ARISA NIWA [VIEW GALLERY]

Arisa Niwawas born in Tokyo in 1976. After graduating from high school in Hong Kong, she went to Rome and studied theatre for two years. She has been an award-winning artist since 1998. (Read more…)

ONEQ [VIEW GALLERY]

ONEQ (born 1981) is a Japanese illustrator with a style she describes as “pop with an underground flavor.” She is known for her portraits of manga-style sexy pinups. (Read more…)

HIROKO SAKAI [VIEW GALLERY]

Hiroko Sakai is a Japanese artist who has lived in San Franciso since 1999, where she says she can “combine my Japanese and San Francisco backgrounds to produce powerful and unique art works.” (Read more…)

MASARU SHICHINOHE [VIEW GALLERY]

Masaru Shichinohe (born 1959) has created a dark and surreal surreal world with his art. He is sometimes called “Maboroshi,” which means “ghost” in Japanese . (Read more…)

HIDEMI TADA [VIEW GALLERY]

Hidemi Tada (born 1949) is primarily a portrait artist who found his calling later in life. While traveling abroad as a “hermit” he began doing pencil portraits and found that people enjoyed them. After working in Portugal as a professional portrait artist beginning in 2006, he returned to Japan in 2009. (Read more…)

AYA TAKANO [VIEW GALLERY]

Aya Takano (born 1976) is a Japanese Superflat artist, manga artist, and science fiction essayist, who seeks to reinvent the otaku culture through a feminine perspective. She is particularly interested in depicting how the future will impact the role of the female heroine in society. (Read more…)

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