Kengo Nakamura


Kengo Nakamura

A Japanese artist born in 1969 in Osaka, Kengo Nakamura has built his fame through his unique paintings using motifs evoking both modern society, Japanese folk culture and art history. As a teenager, fascinated by the work of the great master of the Manga Osamu Tezuka - whom the Japanese call the "God of the Manga" - he embarked on a promising artistic career. In 1995, he graduated from Tama Art University. In 2015, a large solo exhibition is dedicated to him at the Ninomaru Museum in Kakegawa, Japan.

Kengo Nakamura is one of the major figures in the Modern Japanese - Style Painting, of which he wrote the manifesto, a reference work of the movement. Inspired by the motifs and symbols of the manga, Nakamura transports spectators into an ultracontemporary world directly derived from his imagination. In turn, the artist turns the silhouettes of characters and cartoon bubbles, dismantles to rebuild these icons of the digital age that are emoticons. Appeared in Japan under the name Emoji, these motives allow to express emotions more freely than the writing and the speaking allow. According to the painter, these symbols - now ubiquitous on computer screens and smartphones - would have the power to bring individuals together by allowing them to fully express the variety of their feelings.

Nakamura works on Japan paper thanks to a wide variety of natural mineral pigments. Combining coarse pigments with fine pigments, applying them in layers in the manner of traditional Japanese painting, it painstakingly creates a rich pictorial texture in which the colors are reflected diffusely through the different thicknesses. The precision of his technique allows him to obtain vibrant color effects, which can’t be reached by chemical dyes such as oil or acrylic and allow the artist to generate a painting of intense expressiveness, in full adequacy with his design.