There is nothing perfect about the pretty "Tokyo girls" that artist Tomoyoshi Sakamoto paints. Sweet with a twist of irony, his acrylic paintings are representative of Neo-Nihonga Japanese style. In one painting, girls play "dress up" in a scene that would look like any typical sleepover. As they apply their makeup, one horrifyingly ties strings to another's watery eyes. Tears are a common characteristic of Sakamoto's subjects, as they inflict pain and humiliation upon themselves. Not all of his works are graphic, but more melancholy.
Japanese painter Fuyuko Matsui has made a big name for herself among Neo-Nihonga or "New Japanese" artists. She was recently named one of 2014's most influential people by Nikkei Business, and is the first woman to receive a doctoral degree in Japanese painting (the first male was Takashi Murakami). Her artwork blends uniquely Japanese traditional painting techniques with dramatic subject matter. Check out more of her work after the jump.