When it comes to precision in ink, Japan continually produces master craftsman.
Two of my favourites to emerge in the last couple of years are Ikeda Manabu, and Shohei.
Both are masters of pen and ink which is why I love their works so much.
Ikeda Manabu is a pen and ink master who deals with vast sprawling story scapes that excite the eye in such beautiful ways. His 'History of Rise and Fall' is a spectacular 3 panel piece that is immensely dense and rich in both pen work, ink, and story.
(Copyright Ikeda Manabu)
In 2013 I went to Ikeda Manabu's main gallery, Mizuma Art Gallery in Ichigaya, to check out some his original works. Mizumi Art Gallery is quite well known for showing and breaking new artists to the West and getting them international recognition ( their most recent success being Aida Makoto). The gallery staff were very friendly and when I approached them concerning Ikeda's works they brought out from storage a number of his originals works for me to pour my eyes over.
Mizumi Art Gallery doesn't have a current exhibition of Ikeda's works running but from the 29th January 2014 they will be showing a solo exhibition film from his famous stablemate, AIDA Makoto, so if your a fan of Aida Makoto then it's worth going to the show and also worth trying to check out some of Ikeda Manabu's works as well, while you are there.
Ikeda's work can be found on the Mizuma Art Gallery website >>>HERE<<<.
Mizuma Art Gallery - ICHIGAYA TAMACHI
2F Kagura Bldg., 3-13 Ichigayatamachi Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0843
Mizuma Art Gallery will be showing a new exhibition (film) by Makoto Aida from 29th January 2014. Details >>>HERE<<<.
The other artist I mention, Shohei, is a pen and ink master who deals in parody and satire at a man on the street level. I am a big fan of satire and I find his politically and socially charged pieces awesome. In the U.K we have a history of using satire in all its guises as a social tool against the injustices of personal, social and political privilege but in Japan the idea of questioning, or presenting an idea, that goes against those in authority and power is something relatively new. The idea of not questioning those in power is a heavily ingrained aspect of the Japanese psyche. In his more satirical works Shohei cuts at the underbelly of of Japan, presenting precise images that show us the darker side of the current status quo.
(Image copyright - Shohei)
Shohei first started using ballpoint pens at school, doodling in his class exercise books.
This video shows Shohei using a ballpoint pen, his tool of choice...
Shohei currently has a joint exhibition ((河村康輔xSHOHEI) x dope) running at Tambourin Gallery, Shibuya, Tokyo.
The gallery is small but its well worth a visit if your in Shibuya and like Shohei's work.
I dropped by on the first day to take a look. Shohei was there and was quite happy to sign a couple of well priced prints that I bought.
The exhibition runs until Sunday 19th January. It's my understanding that Shohei will be at the gallery some of the time to sign prints.
Tambourin Gallery, Shibuya, Tokyo
open 11:00-19:00（展示最終日18：00まで） 月曜休
JUMP TO Shohei's website >>>HERE<<<.