"BOOM" An Explosion of Contemporary Japanese Art


Introducing 42 artists currently working in Japan

Distribution: Online through ...Amazon com, Amazon UK, Amazon Euro, CreateSpace.com

Recently the keyword "Cool Japan" has become part of the international vernacular. fashion, art, animation, cuisine, architecture; these and many more aspects of Japanese culture, which are taken for granted by the Japanese people themselves, are being embraced overseas as unique and attractive.  There is no doubt that the culture of a generation has a direct effect on the arts, and is some cases can give birth to brand new art forms. The artists introduced by BOOM are all Japanese nationals currently working in Japan. Their ages and modes of expression vary greatly. They have no reoccurring themes or genre. But each artist pursues a new method of expression and their work is continually evolving. They are quintessential "artists of the here and now"  Through the artworks presented, BOOM invite you to experience the inherited traditions of Japan combined with the "je ne sais quoi" that is part of the very DNA of these Japanese artists.  We sincerely hope that this book, spotlighting these "artists of the here and now", will bring alive the "breath of generations" in their art and spark your interest.

Artist's Comments

Tsuyoshi Seko
Lithographer. Born in 1943. Through the medium of lithographs, I explore the motifs of day-to-day life a sharp, modern style.Intertwined with straight lines and curves, behind the fresh colors of my work, I want to invoke a kind of concrete kindness. In recent years i have become very interested in masks and I have tried to incorporate these in my work in a poetic pop style. Masks are not just simple sculptures for the face. they have a dualistic quality which shows both the depth and the complexity of the human psyche. All of us are living behind a mask.

Kisho Tokutomi
Painter. Born in 1961. His surrealist versions of buddihst religious images feature bodhisattva who surpass the earthly forms of humans and animals. Tokutomi has recently shown in both Australia and France, winning the Grand prize at the 2010 Sydney Art Contest. Tokutomi is praised by his many international fans.

onoike SOUSUKE
Painter.Born in 1969. My reason for taking up a paintbrush was to depict the traditional beauty of Japan. For the past years I've focused on kimono, the epitome of Japanese beauty. I use kimono as a centre my works on to express the image of a beautiful virgin. With a foundation in traditional Japanese painting techniques, I like to add a twist to my works, making them accessible to foreign audiences. I'm grateful if my audiences are able to feel even a little of the essence of true Japanese beauty in my work.

Painter, Calligrapher. Born in 1967. I hope my works will invoke in viewers those senses sleeping in their hearts. like a fluttering bird, my world comes out of the canvas and hopefully opens a path to the viewer's heart. I use black ink to give a life to my inscriptions, and each has its own rhythm and melody. Each with its own infinite possibility. At times dramatic and dynamic, but also soft and fine, I hope my works reflect life itself.

Tetsuji Shirakawa
Illustrator. Born in 1949. The things I always want to capture in my works are the wonder of nature and the joy of life. Though my images of geisha and maiko, with the title " Flowers of Capitol" I have tried to express the charm of the changing Japanese seasons through flowers, butterflies and birds.

Kumi Ito
Painter. Born in 1942. I depict my own imaginary world based on the traditional culture of ancient Japan; the smiling faces of innocent children and peaceful, reminiscent scenes of emotion. My works are pieces of art but also forms of entertainment to enrich the hearts of my viewers. I 'd like audiences to escape into my works, play with the children there and remember that something which has almost been forgotten.

Tomoyuki Okamoto
Painter. Born in 1973. In my works I use the color blue to express my own personal world. Wide open spaces, the passing of time, tranquil emotion, sparks of light and depths of darkness, all these things that I wish to depict, can be simple and beautifully expressed through the color blue. Blue is a color known to everyone, and I believe that it is one that holds a special place in the minds of all people. the color blue gives a spiritual 'presence' to the various 'objects' that appear in my works.

Kenji Mera
Painter. Born in 1962. I love cats! I love their resolute attitudetheir dignity and their charm. It's hard to put it into words exactly. the cats I paint live in many different times and many different places, be it medieval France or Meiji Era Japan. I don't know how many cats I'll paint in the future but if the people who see them can be transported to another time, or be inspired to chat with the cats they happen to meet, I think that would make me happy.

Kesuke Totsuka
Illustrator. Born in 1978. For the most part I like to depict the cute and innocent behavior of children. Along with their simplicity and charm, children have a flexibility and pureness not found in adlts. But despite their purity children also have a cynical and sometimes derisive view of the world. I want to express this "cuteness tinged with cynicism" in my artworks.

Yohei Abe
Character Graphic Designer. Born in 1980. from the moment the audience sees on of my works, it stops being my property and becomes theirs. I believe that if my works elicit some kind of feeling from viewers, be it "good", "but", "love" or "hate", these emotions mean I have been able to communicate with my audience. When I think of how I am able to speak with all these people whom I have never met, I can really feel the true "beauty of art". If all people who see my work can enjoy it in their own way, then I am extremely happy.

Anarogu Ningen
Painter. Born in 1987. Through my still lives and landscape, I aim to depict our connections with the many nameless and faceless people who pass through and interact with the places and objects we take for granted. for some reason we cannot see it, but we are most definitely all connected. That is what I want to express in my work. I continue creating these works in the hopes that the people who see them may receive some feeling of peace.

Shohei Ohmae
Painter. Born in 1988. When I create my artworks I always consider humanity, story and a sense of satire to be the most important elements. Theater, dance and cinema all have a variety of means to move the soul of the audience, but art is a static "visual" medium. To evoke emotion from a two dimensional artwork is extremely difficult. Despite, or perhaps, because of this very fact, I strive to create artworks which can move the hearts of my audience. I contribute to create art with this singular aim. 

Toshiaki Shibuya
Painter. Born in 1964. In order to capture the beauty and fluidity of the female form, since 1997, i have continuously painted these red curves, blazing like sensual, bewitching fires. thinking back, as a child i was always in awe of women dressed in red. During my university days, I discovered the beauty of curved lines and often used them in my design assignment. Much later I discovered how the combination of these three components:the color red, women and curves combined to create a motif that stirs my heart.

Kou Yoshikawa
Illustrator. Born in 1979. Using the motif of 60s and 70s culture and music (specifically progressive rock album jackets) Yoshikawa creates works in sharp lines and collage. by combining these elements, Yoshikawa creates decorative illustrations incorporating both retro and modern elements.

Aya Shimohara
Pinter. Born in 1986. My artworks have a fantastic and aesthetic quality and in them I pursue a vision that invites euphoria. i hope the humanity of the women I depict is expressed through their expression.

Painter. Born 1985. I create my artworks based on the things I see and feel in my daily life. To combine the real and the unreal to create my vague and fun world.

Takaaki Mano
Painter. Born 1976. My artworks change and evolve with the collective consciousness of society and the changes in energy of the global environment. everything from the changes of daily life and my personal world to the movements of society and the universe itself are my influences and it is due to these that my artworks are created, almost as if by accident. My works are both spiritual and Taoist.

Painter. Born in 1967. As an artist I aim for a naive, surrealist comic style. I 'd like people to take in my work with a free mind, enjoying their own personal readings of my images. A mischievous angel floats through my Ana series of works, but actually, through her I express"life" and"regeneration ."Ana is my symbol of future life but she is also a part of all of us.

Hideki Koh
Painter. Born in 1951. The majority of his works focus on the emotions, passions and affections of the beautiful youths unique to the Edo, Meiji and Taisho eras of Japan. (1602-1926) Working mainly in pencil and watercolor.  Lovers by collectors and art fans the world over.

Painter. Born in 1969. Wouldn't it be fun if alongside the photographs of family and friends which line the walls of any house, there were portraits of animals like these ? This "Animal Portrait" series was begun with this sense of fun. This series is completely different to the landscape works I usually create and so I've used the pen-name "kou" when presenting them.

Yumi Oue
Painter/Designer. Born in 1984. I paint mainly deer and other charming animals. I would love my audiences to experience the beauty of Japanese paper and the enjoyment of the light and shadow created through my half-sculptural works. I aim to create works with a little extra spice, something not seen anywhere else.

Tetsuji Yamaguchi
Illustrator. Born in 1972. Through the seasonal scenery, the plants, animals and most of all through the cats I depict, I want to express my idea of "Life". I always strive to respect and cherish the birds, insects and plants, in other words, the life around me. To me cats are that symbol of life. Their casual expressions are the essence of harmony in my work.

Kunio Suzuki
Painter. Born in 1960. Water is the basis of life and creation. Water gives freedom and infinity to my work. although it seems abundant to us now, there is a possibility that, in the near future, water may become a scarce resource. Once we realize that water is a finite resource we can truly come to understand it's importance. We should not forget the whisper of 'Eternal Water'.

Kaori Kawakami
Painter. Born in 1982. I really love Shinto shrines and as I visited many of them around Japan I felt as though I have began to see the energies of each place, rather than just their physical forms. From this experience, I decided to start creating artworks on the theme of "The Unseen World".

Hidekazu Sato
Painter. Born in 1997. My art is an outlet for the humanity within me. At the heart of my artwork is the desire to make other people happy. "With this idea at their core, both his ink works and a range of other creations offer Sato's prayer for the happiness of all people and freedom for himself.

Reikuh Oikawa
Calligrapher. Born in 1969. Calligraphy is the act of expressing ideas on a blank of piece of paper with ink and brush. i have created these works by learning from and invoking the discipline of the age old art of calligraphy. I my works I attempt to create a new art style without deviating from the essential elements of traditional calligraphy.

Illustrator. Born in 1987. "I want to be pretty", "I want to fall in love", "I want to make you my own", I spent my days creating images of girls who never forget the love in girl's hearts, no matter how the times may change. I hope people will be able to see the art-deco inspiration in my work.

Painter. Born in 1989. When I drew, I never sketch a draft, but drew the colours as they come to me. In one work I can use however many colours I like, and as it is impossible to describe one's emotions in a single word I depend on the many colors I use to express the complicated emotions I feel.
Eiko sakamoto
Illustrator. Born in 1982. The girl I paint have a different emotion for each person who sees them. Each person has their own life and their own unique qualities. I found this is very mysterious. I created these works in the hopes of expressing that mystery I always feel.

Toshie Takada
Illustrator. Born in 1982. All people experience events in their lives via their emotions and their five senses. i am exactly the same. What I search for and grapple with in my artworks is the idea of the younger self that, as we became adults, we lose sight of and put aside.
Kazuhiko Shinya
Painter. Born in 1972. Expressed on canvas those images which gave him inspiration, creating his own personal world in his art. His works hold no preconception or ego but represent an important message of life, cosmology and natural philosophy.

Miki Kodama
Illustrator. Born in 1980. I create artworks based mainly on the theme of women in Kimono. With the saying"Eyes can say just as much as lips" in mind. I'd like each viewer to look at and imaging for themselves exactly what each of the girls are thinking.

Karesu Ayakata
Painter. Born in 1970. Wild animals such as wolves and hawks are, to me, the embodiment of ideals such as dignity, nobility and charm. I wanted to express these ideals in human form. I paint male figures because, as a woman, I also find the musculature and flow of the male form most beautiful.

Kiriya Mori
Illustrator. Born in 1974. In styles ranging from the realistic to the comic, I paint works focusing on a wide variety of Gothic, mythical and fantastic deformed animals and plants. In my works I have a commitment to the depiction of light and unique colour.

Painter. Born in 1977. Recently, I have started to enjoy creating works on the themes of "light and dark, the body, the soul and the human condition" The works I 'm showing BOOM are all based around these themes but from now on I'd like to incorporate a wider range of themes and create new works the likes of which haven't been seen before.

Illustrator. Born in 1980. I love to recreate my very own world in my art, and I intend to kepp on working in the pop style in which I think suits me best. Ginger admit her love for rusty old metal and abandoned factories, typography and the wooden buildings of the old town areas of Tokyo with their "Shown period charm".(1926-1989)

Katsuya In
Painter. Born in 1977. These characters are based on a common specials of Japanese insects. i believe that insects lives are full of dignity. They never lose their way but they know their role in the environment and their own destiny. I have come to consider the insects life as ideals full of grace, bravery, and with no regrets.

Illustrator. Born in 1985. With the theme "A Gentle Time" she has created her own cast of characters in what she calls her "Ne-zoo"

Illustrator. Born in 1978. I want to incorporate art into my life as a kind of lush vegetation. although I use digital media, i try to instill a warmth of colour and style in my work and i like to depict images of scenery that are somehow nostalgic to viewers, 

Tamaho Togasaki
Painter. Born in 1970. The scenery from my window, the city nightscape, the high autumn sky, these are things seen by everyone in their daily lives. in my compositions I try to delete the superfluous, paring back to boldly reconstruct the world around me. I would love for my audiences to sublimate the ordinary and extraordinary to create a new perception of my work.

Licoo Chiba
Illustrator. Born in 1981. "Kawaii" or "Cute", the word that embodies of Japanese girls fashion, has gone on to create its very own world-wide culture. This image of the "eternal girl" could be said to have led to kind of sanctification of youth and a desire, especially for the Japanese otaku, or fan-boys, to lust after two dimensional teenagers, residing entirely in their own youth-oriented world, completely removed from mainstream society. I wanted to create this story of a "girls-only world" in my artworks.

Chieko Nakagawa
Painter. Born in 1983.  For me, the most important things in art are color and composition. In other words, planes and lines. I want to create artworks that move one's heart before the mind even engages. There need be no rhyme or reason. It's all about instinct and feeling.I want to create works that connect with people in some way.