You may recognize the fantastical work of Chiho Aoshima as part of the artist’s collective KaiKai Kiki, home to previously featured artists like Mr. and Aya Takano. Opening today, the Seattle Art Museum, in cooperation with Blum and Poe, tells the story of Aoshima’s creative journey with “Rebirth of the World”. It begins 10 years ago, when she quit her job as a member of iconic Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s design team after her own career took off. Her museum debut, the exhibition takes us from her earliest pieces to 35 new drawings on paper, large-scale prints on plexiglass, and a never before seen animation. This includes pieces like her ecologically-themed “City Glow”, which plastered Union Square station in 2005 and helped to put her art on the international map. Throughout, her dark images exhibit an unwavering positive attitude. In a multitude of digital and traditional techniques, she portrays ghosts and demons frolicking alongside cute schoolgirls in dreamy landscapes. In her artist statement, she shares, “My work feels like strands of my thoughts that have flown around the universe before coming back to materialize.” Her art could be coined as Surrealism, but Aoshima also sees it as our very real and chaotic future. She challenges humankind and nature to coexist, and embrace all of the possibilities that the future has to offer.
“Rebirth of the World” by Chiho Aoshima will be on view at Asian Art Museum, Seattle, WA, from May 2 through October 4, 2015.