Featured Artist – oki_chu / 沖冲

oki_chu is an artist born and raised in Japan (and also a supremely cool guy), whose works reflect imagery and inspiration taken from both Eastern and Western sources. His brightly coloured, eye-catching works each tell individual stories, and reflect the excesses of today’s society with a contemporary edge. Most recently, oki_chu exhibited in Berlin, Germany.

The following excerpts are taken from an interview we did with him recently:-


How do you come up with ideas for your art?


First I sub-consciously draw lines or shapes on the canvas. Once that reaches a certain level, I dig up the image that appears from this combination. This is like the work of digging up dinosaur fossils. Hidden in there are influences from my daily experiences and various things.

What are your main sources of inspiration?

Japanese Pop culture (Video Games, Manga, Amine …etc) and 生物の骨や内蔵

生物の骨や内蔵 the bones and the anatomy of living things

What are your goals and ambitions for the coming years?

世界中のおもしろいクリエイターやギャラリストやプロジェクトと出会い、彼らと連携しながら私や私たちが運営しているmograg garageというスペースに集まるクリエイターたちの仕事を紹介するとともに日本から面白いアートカルチャーを発信していく事。

I would like to meet interesting creators, gallerists, and projects from around the world. Through cooperating with them, I would like to share — with the rest of the world — my work, the work of the creators at mograg garage (a space that we run), as well as interesting Japanese art culture.

What do you think of Japan’s current art scene and how do you think it will evolve? How has it changed over the years?


Because of the war, Japan is spiritually and culturally severed from its past.


“Art” in Japan is a concept that was forcefully accepted as part of the Westernisation, which is the price we paid for economic growth.

むしろ浮世絵などの伝統的日本人のクリエイティビティはマンガやアニメなどのpop cultureに継承された。そして現在、日本においてはアートよりもそちらの方が文化として根付いている。

Instead, traditional Japanese creativity such as ukiyo-e has been succeeded by pop culture such as manga and anime. And now, these have taken root as culture rather than art.


In other words, one can say that Japan has no art history to call its own.

だが近年、日本においてもpop cultureの歴史をさかのぼる事で、それ以前の伝統的アートの歴史を掘り起こして、それと現在のアートを接続する試みがなされている。

However, in recent years, there have been experiments in connecting the history of traditional art — which we dug up by tracing the history of pop culture in Japan — with the art we have now


The concept of “art” is a western one, and therein lies a long history that comes from western-style rules.

From now, through re-learning Japanese cultural history, we must connect the essential Japanese aesthetic to the present, and in our art present the themes and styles particular to Japan to the world.


Perhaps Asian countries share a common awareness about this process.


To rest the rest of this interview or purchase prints by oki_chu, click (here).

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Filed under art, asian artists, everything, illustrations, prints

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