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Akika Kurata’s Intimate Acrylic Gouache Portraits

Japanese artist Akika Kurata crafts intimate, absorbing portraits of mostly female subjects. Using acrylic gouache, she creates works with both depth and tender, faded aspects that appear ghostly in nature. At the center of each portrait is an attempt to capture humanity.

Japanese artist Akika Kurata crafts intimate, absorbing portraits of mostly female subjects. Using acrylic gouache, she creates works with both depth and tender, faded aspects that appear ghostly in nature. At the center of each portrait is an attempt to capture humanity.

“Humans embrace any number of feelings in their day to day life,” the artist says, in a past statement. “People long to be ‘cheerful,’ ‘happy,’ and ‘fortunate,’ and are content with that. At the same time, they cannot hope to avoid the inevitability of ‘sad,’ ‘difficult,’ and ‘unfortunate.’ In saying this, however, one may see a beauty that makes one shudder when observing images of people experiencing these feelings or experiences … I look at the “composition” of girls that live alongside me in this same age and place, and explore the feelings that are unique to them alone.”

The artist’s work has been shown across Japan. On Instagram, she often features her process in creating each portrait.

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