“People are always seeking what they believe,” young Japanese artist Takuma Onoda writes at his website. Being in Japan, he lives in a world with a shared reverence for traditional religion and pop-up culture icons like Hatsune Miku, or his city’s mascot, “Sento-kun”. He combines these contradicting ideas of idol worship into handpainted portraits of “Cyber Idols” that look three dimensional.
On Saturday, CHG Circa revealed Kazuki Takamatsu’s much anticipated second solo with the gallery (previewed here), “Spiral of Emotions”. Takamatsu, who was in attendance from Japan, has captured the curiosity of his fans with his signature technique called Depth Mapping. Ask Takamatsu about his perplexing style and he might label it as “Shojo-Irasuto”, or a style of illustration inspired by Japanese girl’s comics. He is part of a new generation that celebrates its pop culture, which we see in his goddess-like school girls with a heavenly aura. Takamatsu once fronted his own punk rock band, “Almond Crush”, and follows current fashion trends, but he also has a spiritual side rooted in cultural tradition. His twelve new paintings explore this tug of war between the old and new.