Kyosuke Tchinai’s Surreal Paintings on Washi Paper

by Margot BuermannPosted on


Kyosuke Tchinai (b. 1948) is a Japanese artist known for his ethereal paintings made with acrylics and precious metals on washi paper. The artist employs traditional aesthetics and techniques that help pay tribute to his homeland while reflecting his training in Western style painting. Through his unique medium, the artist fuses these two worlds to present a modern interpretation of both Japanese and European art forms.


Born in Namikata Ohchi, Japan, Tchinai studied Oil Painting at the National University of Fine Arts and Music in Tokyo. Later in his career, Tchinai grew disillusioned with the Western style techniques he had studied, finding little reference to his Japanese heritage, and transitioned from oil-on-canvas to producing works in acrylic on washi paper, for which he is now known.


Tchinai’s diverse influences – from Gustav Klimt to Katsushika Hokusai – are reflected in his rich and colorful paintings. The artist often features beautiful women in kimonos and landscapes filled with mountain ranges and blossoming flowers – traditional motifs in Japanese painting – yet through a gaze that is unmistakably modern. In several pieces, butterflies and waves reminiscent of Hokusai’s woodblock prints are viewed amidst giant moonscapes accentuated with gold and platinum leaf – alluding to a surreal world that exists between two different realms.


Tchinai’s most recent exhibitions include Utopian World and Autumn Bliss, both exhibited with Gallery Elena Shchukina. More works from these series can be found on the gallery’s website.

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