Working mostly in ballpoint pen, Shohei Otomo’s insightful depictions of Japan expose its commercial facade and deepest underground culture. Delivered with an unmistakable level of biting political analysis and technical perfection, Shohei’s work straddles the worlds of art, illustration, anime and cyber-punk. Since gaining online global recognition as one of Japan's leading illustrators, Shohei has produced nearly a decade's worth of exhibitions across Paris, Tokyo, Milan and Melbourne; worked on projects with such names as Google, Agnès B, Sony Playstation and has an upcoming project with Bape Black. By expanding his art practice into sculpture, Shohei has begun to solidify himself as an important figure in Japanese contemporary art.
On the 1st of May 2019, Emporer Naruhito ascended the throne as the 126th Emperor of Japan, taking the nation out of the Heisei era and into the infancy of the Reiwa. While the Japanese Foreign Ministry felt the need to reiterate that the correct interpretation of Reiwa was "beautiful harmony", nevertheless the common translation of the word's characters remain "to command". A coincidence that poetically reflects the sense of uncertainty in what lays ahead. The previous era, the Heisie era (1989 - 2019), begun with economic hardship and ended with unimagined technological developments and cultural changes.
With "Reiwa", Shohei Otomo is presenting a body of work that reflects Japan's cultural transformation during the Heisei era, while simultaneously attempting to speculate into it's future. Shohei is a genius illustrator with a talent for deconstructing Japanese culture and building sophisticated social critique from the parts. He's a subtle symbolist who's work is full of hidden meaning. We invite you to come and find interpretation in the art of "Reiwa", as both Shohei Otomo and Japan enter a new era.
"Reiwa" will feature the launch of Shohei Otomo's first ever limited edition sculpture. "There Is Nothing You Can Do To Hurt Me" is a symbol of defiance, an imposing sumo wrestler with his arms stretched with showing the anger emoji. The 57cm, signed and numbered (on box and figure), sculpture is the first ever sculpture release by Shohei Otomo and limited to an edition of only 10.
Shohei Otomo's first ever limited edition sculpture.
Edition of 10, signed and numbered on sculpture and box.
w57 X h32 X d25, resin sculpture.
HONG KONG, 2019
W57 X H32 X D25
EDITION OF 10