AboutKazuki Takamatsu was born in Japan in 1978, in a country that is characteristic for its picturesque landscapes and the high rate of suicide, a contrasting duality that contributes to shape the beautiful melancholy permeating the artist’s work.
He attended the Department of Oil Painting at Tohoku University of Art & Design and graduated in 2001. Takamatsu currently lives and works in Sendai, which was devastated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The event can still be grasped in Takamatsu’s work, in which he mixes sorrow with hope in an endless spiral of emotions.
Takamatsu’s paintings, inspired by Japanese girl’s comics, are created through layers of translucent, white gouache that appear to float over his black backgrounds. His hologram-like, female figures look as if they were digital, though they are executed entirely by hand.
That is because the artist uses a depth mapping software for inspiration for his images and carefully renders his figures as if they were parceled into pixels. His technique fuses classic drawing, airbrush and gouache painting with computer graphics. Through this method, each individual pixel becomes a shade of grey, in proportion with the distance from which the viewer sees it.
This combination provides the artist with the ability to achieve amazing depth into space and a general disorienting optical effect.
The artist’s Dolls take shape in the infinite declinations of whites and grey. This contrast of light and dark is a metaphor for the opposition between positive and negative, good and evil, race and religion, life and death, illusion and disillusion, all recurrent themes in the Asian symbolic tradition. The combination of modern digital CG materials with analog materials, is used specifically by the artist to document the emotions that young generations feel towards modern systemised society, and in general, the congruence of humans and digital society. Takamatsu’s milky Lolitas, emerge from an abyssal X-ray lighted deepness, and float with grace in a boundless space of fog and hallucinogen dreams. They remind us of how much peace and mystery can get along in the middle of the void.
Takamatsu’s dimension is one that each of us would like to live in. A personal cloud, inhabited by luminous beauty, relentless youth, and elegant fragility.
In this world, the signs of time fade away like the wispy fog that surrounds the dolls in a windy dance. Everything is sensual and enchants us through the touch of warm brushstrokes and their vital pulse. Those are playfully used to create magnificent details of curving shapes, flowery patterns and light spurts of milk that blend in a unique spiral of magic transformations. In the middle of the apocalyptic choreography, all the elements seem to mirror each other, in an endless dance, and we feel like falling in the groundless abyss of a world that does not exist. When the magic is over, and our feet on the ground, we make out everything was a mere illusion. Kazuki Takamatsu has exhibited all over the world, in galleries based in Asia, USA and Europe. Among his recent achievements are his publications there is his monograph “Hello Here I am”, and his participation in “Turn the Page” at The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and “Cross The Streets” exhibition held at MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome Italy in 2017.