Mr.'s neo-pop aesthetics spans across painting, sculpture, installation and video. Associated with the superflat movement, he uses manga and anime to portray his own personal fantasies. While he consistently draws his themes and motifs from the otaku subculture or fandom, he is more specifically a self-described otaku artist. His cartoonish visions are essentially inhabited by young characters, which are meant to evoke feelings of moe (a Japanese notion relating to the adoration of fictional figures). In a typical kawaii style, he sometimes blends childlike features (round faces, wide eyes, colourful hair) with innocent undertones. Contrasting with the bright cheerfulness of his all-powerful characters, a wider reflection upon solitude, social anxiety and fear further underlies his work. Namely, the chaotic environments, within which Mr. stages some of his exhibitions, echo both Japan's traumatic loss during the Second World War and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
Text courtesy Perrotin.
With its cast of big-eyed, childlike "kawaii" characters, Mr.'s art may appear playful and carefree—but there's a darkness that lurks behind the 49-year-old Japanese artist's paintings.
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