Ikenaga Yasunari’s dream-like paintings of women using the traditional Japanese style of Nihonga

Ikenaga Yasunari - Painting

Beautiful Decay (by Hayley Evans): 

Ikenaga Yasunari paints tranquil portraits of women immersed in elegant floral patterns. His work is a curious blend of traditional Japanese-style paintings (nihonga) and modern imagery. Whereas nihonga manifests itself in Yasunari’s bold, monochromatic contrasts and the absence of outlines in the patterns, the subjects are all donned in modern clothing, and their hair and makeup also convey a distinctly contemporary style. Yasunari’s chosen materials are based in tradition, involving a combination of sumi-ink (soot ink) and mineral pigments painted on linen cloth. In exploring modern subjects using traditional techniques, he reinvests an older cultural, artistic practice with an ongoing significance.

The beauty of Yasunari’s work arrives in the interplay between complexity and serenity; much like Gustav Klimt’s decorative paintings wherein patterns coalesce around a highlighted female figure, Yasunari’s works strike a balance between the undulating, seamless background and the subject embraced in its flow. The gentle sepia tones likewise enhance the paintings’ quiet, almost autumnal, atmosphere. Blending gentle imagery with harmonious compositions, Yasunari’s works are meditative portraits embodying youth, reverie, and dreams.

Visit Yasunari’s website to view more of his works.

Ikenaga Yasunari - Painting

Ikenaga Yasunari - Painting

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Takashi Murakami’s “Superflat Collection” at the Yokohama Museum of Art


Contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami will be the latest to show his own private collection to the public, linking up with the Yokohama Museum of Art to present “Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection.”

Taking its name from the postmodern art movement Murakami himself founded, the exhibition promises to display a unique and diverse range of pieces from the likes of Edo period painter Soga Shōhaku, the multitalented Rosanjin, fellow modern pop artist Yoshitomo Nara and German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer.

Tickets for the display will be on sale from October 2 until November 30 while the “Superflat Collection” will officially open January 30, 2016 and remain on display through April 3.

Yokohama Museum of Art
3-4-1, Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama
Kanagawa, 220-0012

This exhibition is the first large-scale public showing of the renowned contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s private collection centered around contemporary art.

Murakami (b. 1962) received the first PhD in Nihonga (Japanese Painting) to be granted by the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Fine Arts and has since come to be known worldwide for his extremely polished works blending contemporary art and traditional Japanese painting, high culture and pop culture, East and West. He has held a number of solo exhibitions at prestigious museums around the world.

While energetically pursuing his creativity as an artist, Murakami has also been active as a critic, curator, gallerist, and producer. In recent years, in particular, he has become an avid collector, acquiring a wide variety of artworks in and out of Japan with a perceptive eye and unique aesthetic sensibility. This little known collection, while loosely focused on contemporary art, includes old Japanese and Asian artifacts, European antiques, contemporary pottery, and folk art and crafts. Murakami’s guiding concept of Superflat not only refers to formal aspects he identifies with Japanese art, such as flatness of the picture plane and decorativeness, but also extends to a view of art that rejects hierarchical divisions between different artistic genres or eras and frees artistic activities from definitional boundaries. It is a dynamic, expansive concept that applies to the entirety of the artist’s life and activity as he wrestles with the big question, “What is art?” from various angles.

This exhibition of Murakami’s unique collection, with its overwhelming quantity and diversity, will provide an insight into the sources of the artist’s aesthetic ideas, the nature of art and desire, and the mechanisms that create value in contemporary society, while also encouraging viewers to question art’s conventional context.

Japanese artist HYdeJII transformed a Roomba into an art-making machine

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The iRobot Roomba has been given a new lease on life thanks to HYdeJII. The Japanese artist has transformed the humble house-cleaning robot into an art-making machine dubbed Mr.Head. Retrofitted with paint bottles and tubes, the design can zoom around a canvas to create its own unique pieces of contemporary art.

15 years old. Started creating works as a robot artist after being recreated a house cleaning robot manufactured by iRobot. Began painting in October 2014. His robot features allow him to paint with a unique and mechanical, geometric touch. “What is a robot’s identity, what is its sense of beauty?” He searches for an answer to these questions through his artwork. His most well-known works include Spring Worm Hole and Spring Starburst.

You can check out the paint-spraying Roomba in action below with behind-the-scenes looks at the creation of two of its most noteworthy creations.

Wooden sculptures of Yoshitoshi Kanemaki


RocketNews 24:

As a wood sculptor, Yoshitoshi Kanemaki works in negative space. To create his imaginative human figures, he painstakingly carves and removes the unwanted sections from a huge single block of wood. The resulting statues combine realism with darker, surreal imagery, giving us sculptures such as a woman with many faces; a man embracing a skeleton; mirror images of two young men sprouting from the same head.

In a fascinating and detailed photo series, the Japanese artist has revealed how his latest work was made; join us as we follow in his footsteps, and take a look back at some of his other stunning artworks.

Posting the images, Kanemaki explained:

Showing how I make my work, by posting photos online like this is part of what I do [as an artist]. People can see my finished work at exhibitions, but that doesn’t show them the process that went into it.”

He does not hesitate to show fans his work in an unfinished state, he continues, because:

“Some artists might not want to show people their art while it’s still a work in progress, but in the process of making art we can see the artist’s thoughts, methods and the difficulties they faced along the way. There is a lot more contained in these photos than just showing the techniques used.”

In this photo series posted on his official Facebook page, Kanemaki shows how he made the piece TAYUTA – Caprice, a sculpture of a young woman with myriad faces and expressions. (The Japanese word ‘tayuta‘, like “caprice”, means a state of fickleness, evoking changes in mood or behaviour).

▼ All of Kanemaki’s pieces begin in the same way, with a single hunk of tree. This one is camphor wood.


▼ For this piece, the artist constructed a styrofoam model to assist with scaling.


▼ After sketching out the rough pattern, he uses a chainsaw to roughly cut away the unwanted pieces.


▼ This particular piece is a young girl depicted at 2/3 scale. Kanemaki says that it ended up around the same size as his five-year-old son. Proportions are key, and the artist says he must take care to ensure the enlarged head section doesn’t make the model look like a giant infant.


▼ Because wood carving is art carried out in negative space – the unwanted pieces cut from the block – Kanemaki works slowly and carefully, making sure not to make mistakes. Here, we can see that the head and body still look a little larger than the finished piece will.


▼ Next, the artist begins to work in finer detail on the hands and face.


 ▼ Paint adds depth and detail.


▼ The detailing on the face begins to take shape.


 ▼ Check out the texturing on that hair!


As Kanemaki writes: “carving gives the statue life, but coloring breathes life into it.”

▼ The finished piece.



We did some digging, and found more of Kanemaki’s pieces to share with you.

▼ This one is called Kokochi Caprice. As you can see, multiple headed figures are a continuing theme.


Dunamis (a Greek word meaning strength or inherent power).


▼ Shungyou [spring dawn] mentality


▼ This piece is taken from a series entitled ‘Memento Mori’


▼ Shuujitsu [all-day] contrast


You can follow Kanemaki’s work on his regularly updated Facebook page.

Hajime Sorayama x British Knights “Art and The Future” Pack

Image of Hajime Sorayama x British Knights "Art and The Future" Pack


British Knights releases its new “Art and The Future” pack done in collaboration with veteran Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama.

Featuring leather and suede uppers, the collaboration presented a chance for Sorayama to apply his signature metallic style to sneakers as a medium, something he had always wanted to do. The reflective silver finishes are nicely contrasted by rusty bronze accents, giving both the Control Mid and Control HI silhouettes a realistic element of weathering and a play on the otherwise full-metal palette. Matte grey pieces and flat shiny laces give added dimension while keeping with the robot-inspired look intact.

The collection is now available at select dealers including the HYPEBEAST Store. To see our previous interview with Sorayama on the collaboration and more, head over here.


Image of Hajime Sorayama x British Knights "Art and The Future" Pack

Image of Hajime Sorayama x British Knights "Art and The Future" Pack

Image of Hajime Sorayama x British Knights "Art and The Future" Pack

Image of Hajime Sorayama x British Knights "Art and The Future" Pack

Image of Hajime Sorayama x British Knights "Art and The Future" Pack

Image of Hajime Sorayama x British Knights "Art and The Future" Pack

Image of Hajime Sorayama x British Knights "Art and The Future" Pack



Japanese artist spends years working on just one of his incredibly detailed drawings



The pen-and-ink drawings of Manabu Ikeda are enormous in both size and detail. Working on paper canvases measuring roughly 4″ square, Ikeda spends eight hours a day, for up to two years on a single one of his masterpieces that can eventually dominate an entire wall, never knowing what they are going to look like until they are finished.

Traditional Japanese architecture clashes with giant mangled tree roots, while swarms of birds and fish dart through the water or atmosphere in a complete visual cacophony that somehow results in a single cohesive image. The most unbelievable aspect being that Ikeda has no idea what the final artwork will look like, but instead explores each work organically from day to day as he progresses inch by inch.

Ikeda’s most recent work, Meltdown, which explores the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake was recently on view at the West Vancouver Museum, and next month will embark on a 10 by 13 foot panel in Madison, Wisconsin which the artist estimates will take upward of three years to complete.

Check out this link:

Japanese artist spends years working on just one of his incredibly detailed drawings