Tokyo Damage Report

2008 geisai art show

May 11 @ tokyo big sight: GEISAI MUSEUM 2



Geisai is an art-industry convention. Aspiring painters show their works and gallery owners come around and many business cards are exchanged. It is produced by TAKASHI MURAKAMI, the famous pop-art guy from the ’90s. I guess maybe becuase he is famous, half of the exhibiton space of GEISAI is turned into a million-dollar stage with huge hi-tech lightshows and pop-idol performances, b-list celebrity talk-shows, which drone on throughout the event. At first I was pissed off because I paid for a room full of art and only got half-a-room full of art. But in the end, 6 hours was barely enough to see everything in the half-a-room!!

GENERAL THEMES: there are three that I, with my anyone-can-get-one B.A. in graphic design, could see:

  • mandalas! either intentionally invoking Bhuddism, or unintentionally – by having 4-way symmetry and crazy detail.
  • obsessive illustration! shapes that look simple from far away but up close are made from a million tiny ballpoint-pen lines.
  • ripping off other artists! there were at least 4 clusters of artists present who all had the same style: several Goreys, several Maruos, and a bunch of Ukio-E.
  • this is harder to articulate, but there were several people doing a theme of MODERN GHOSTS. like the idea that the old traditions, the old Shinto anamist spirits, the old ways are not gone, they are invisibly co-existing with our modern plastic lives. They might be under the concrete sidewalk or behind your vynyl Doraemon sippy cup.
  • A kind of very vague, insubstantial, yet clearly-drawn and well-shaded, floaty stuff. Where does that trend come from? I have no idea if people here even LIKE that, or if that is just a by-product of a university art education, like soulless technique.

Anyway, most of these people have websites, so i’ll just put up pictures and links.



Gen Tsuchiya.

He makes these life-sized American Horror Movie Monster collages : Freddy, Jason, etc. — all collaged out of pics of candy and Faberge eggs!

Masahiro Teramoto! no website.

teramoto is a fun guy, He did simple paintings of genitals, but his major artwork is his hair. If you walk around Tokyo long enough you will see his afro.


Teruhiko Inukai

He said his paintings were done using a special technique: dripping paint on, and then sanding most of it off, to create the round, cellular shapes you see above. He said this is an old technique but deeeeyamn. This painting is around "seven or 8 layers" of dripped-and-sanded paint.


???????????????????? MOTOHIRO

Nitsumaki Hayato. (no site)

Mr. Nitsumaki is one of around 3 painters at this event doing Gorey-inspired art. Nitsumaki’s special point, though, is how he distorts facial features.


Teruaki Fuchisawa

Teruaki does these insanely-detailed pen-and-ink illustrations. close-up below:

There are a lot of people doing this kind of thing in Japan. The whole "negative-space" thing is HELLA Japanese. check out the photo above: you see all the white space? japanese artists in ALL GENRES like doing that. plus it allows you to have a pleasing shape to look at from accross the room, and when you get up close you can also admire the details.



This guy, whose name i forgot LIKE A DOUCHE, did all these traditional Buddha – meets- hard-gay-rapper-gangstuh paintings with these nuclear-glowing colors.


Takahashi Hiroe

I really like takahashi’s stuff because it is BOTH mandala-like AND obsessively-detailed illustrated.


About half of Pinkman’s paintings were covers of a fictional gay magazine called BUTT.


Mizuguchi Shohei


Masayoshi Onozato

At first Masayoshi’s work looked too similar to those expensive vynyl toys from – kaKIDROBOTws or whatever –

but the dude is so good at what he does! he had a mural like 10 feet long full of 1,000 tiny characters:

. . . plus sketchbooks full of millions of obsessive doodles.

This is (above) a page from an english textbook he wants to someday publish . . . someone help him!

Ohtani Yuki.

Ohtani does not have a website, but his mixi ID is : 2512198

below, more details:

BAMUSE is an art company whose main artist is Keisuke KAtaoka

Keisuke does millions of these Heavy-Metal Magazine-lookin’ robot sea-creatures.

Daisuke Miyashita


This is the LEAST vaginal bas-relief that this person did.



. . . . . . . . . . . .

Adobe Illustrator versions of old-school samurai myths.


Nogi Sumiko


Ms. Nogi takes photos using a kalidescope filter, then prints them and paints weird bukkake splotches over them, and THEN paints faces on the splotches.


Ms. Hiromi

Hiromi graduated from art school in NYC, and is producing massive amounts of these faces (note the Hello Kitty bow!).

For those who want to spend more, she is now working on a NEW series – same concept but larger size. She was afraid that the concept was too Pop-art Warhol. . .more specifically that it was too Western. So to solve this problem , she drew a Japanese style mandala-ish illustration, featuring various traditional symbols of femininity, and used that as a transparent overlay on this series. So what you are seeing is a distortion of not one, but TWO underlying layers : the cartoony face, and the Japanese-style mandala.

Since this new series is about 60cm high, i told her she should use it as a backdrop for Pachinko! i mean, can you imagine?




Nichi Kame

Ms. Nichi does elaborately staged, costume-driven photos, sort of like Cindy Sherman. The picture above , she said, was a study in contrasts: the left picture is radiating outwards like BOOSH, and the right one is all compressed inwards. and yet, the outwards-facing one is very calm (blue) where the inwards-facing one is all raging (red).



Mr. Jidai


He is an Adobe Illustrator genius, but still no website. This painting was an update of a famous old Ukio-E painter who hid pictures in other pictures. in this case, Teriyaki-san hid smaller cats inside the cat head. Here is something really really Japanese : instead of a) being ashamed to be caught copying someone, or

b) obnoxiously claiming some post-modern irony like, "Oh i am not ripping him off, i am APPROPRIATING"

Teriyaki took a third route, unthinkable to a Western fine-artist: he brought a book of the famous old Ukio-e painter and whipped it out to show me. "See? Isn’t this guy great?" I am no anthropologist but i think that if I could understand this response, I could understand a lot about japan in general – maybe even the rappers.




This genius painted porno images, inside plexiglass boxes. the lower half of the box was half-full of shredded porn!

Uehara Miki

Aside from having a very clean, flat style which i like, her paintings depict people’s desire to escape from contemporary life: here a salariman getting scolded in the office nods and smiles, while his mind is on vacation.










Otsuka Satoru

大塚聡 Natural Hi! freedom communication



Yanagisawa Shin

柳沢 新

These sculptures were the size of skateboards. Sorry I couldn’t find a site for him/her



FUCK! this was the best thing there. Or ever.

sugiura Keita

杉浦 慶太

Mr. Sugiura’s photos were BLACK METAL. FUCKING BLACK METAL as hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Photos of forests that were so dark and deep and cold, you couldn’t see anything but you could FEEL the monsters and ghosts in the nooks and crannies all reaching out to get you. Instead of just DRAWING monsters, Sugiura makes photos that force YOU to imagine the monsters yourself, which is way more scary. He won a prize.



Above, the box rotated, and had paintings on all sides. All this artist’s works had simple, jokey themes, done in a very professional way. below, the new heiroglyphics:

Chen Wei-Tu



Sanuki Takumi


Anyway, this painting above is one of the few that actually do the "vague, floaty thing" (theme #5 in my introduction) well.


末松 享子

Suematsu Kyouko




Kouno Saori

河野 さおり

Saori-san’s odd interpretation of the old "you are what you eat" adage.


Kajimoto Takeshi

Mr. Kajimoto had a huge number of paintings, all depicting the mythological adventures of his tribe of molten-rock men. There was obviously quite an elaborate back-story but my Japanese was not good enough to find out. I am a sucker for any art/music that comes complete with its own cosmology. Plus i love how he combines flat and 3d painting styles.

In america, artists that want to do that would be all freaked out about "Does it look enough like / too much like Robert Williams? Will i get in JUXTAPOZ?" but all this guy here cares about is, "What wacky quest will the molten lava dudes go on next?"



Hayato Koga

Shane Kagotani and Katsuhito Fujiwara. together they are a company called GENDAIBIJUTSU NITOUHEY

They do all these amazing gag pieces. Most people would just draw a cartoon of the gag, but these 2 guys actually make the whole complete object!



manga-style Kabuki Masks.



Matsumoto Mayuko

松本 真由子


I have nothing to add. Let’s see some more of these meat condos, shall we?

She is NOT a vegetarian. I asked.




he is a "Kaikai kiki" member.

"Mr. " is not only pals with the event producer, he is one of the only people who did a full-on installation. Here he reconstructs an Otaku room with the same painstaking, obsessive attention to detail that regular Otakus might spend on constructing their fantasy world! I don’t know if that irony was intentional, but I sure hope so. Also noteworthy- he has secreted his own, original Anime-ish paintings around the room, hidden next to actual anime products, all Easter-egg-hunt style.



Taifong Lin

Dude is from Taiwan but looks like vintage RUN DMC. Here he poses with his series "FALLEN ANGELS." – he takes portrait photos of Taiwan hookers and then does these wildly distorted paintings of them.


Natsumi Ishiyama. No site.

You might remember ole’ Ishiyama from my previous reports of her psychedelic Snot series, her Puke series, or maybe her Sexual Ice Cream Jet series. She is back, this time with a Drops of Fat And Oil Floating In Your Dish Of Ramen series.



Shimaoka Eiji

島岡 エイジ

a 5 foot tall cabinet, with regular manga wheat-pasted on the outside. The door is open just a crack, and you can peek in and see the sexy manga wheat-pasted on the inside, plus DISCO BALL.

I like this for 2 reasons:

1) as a westerner, it confirms my bias that japanese people have more Tatemae/Honne than USA people.

2) because of the effort required to peek and snoop through the tiny crack, the viewer is hella implicated in the perversion. (i.e. if you go to all that trouble to see some manga tits, you are more dirty than the guy who built the art!)


Sidney Pink



Never got a chance to talk to homey, but he seems really good.

若杉 俊彦

Wakasugi Toshihiko

couldn’t find a website for this dude. He had his portfolio with him, though, and showed us pictures of his previous art – life sized animal mutant sculptures. . . . he took animal skeletons and made mutants out of them, like a horse vomiting 30 snakes. Clearly a genius!!

check out all the business cards i got:

finally . .. . here are some good artists who I didn’t take a picture of their stuff, but just visit their sites and you will see:

Kotone Ohira – wonderful puke photos

Kimura Shougo : past-present-future triptych

Koinuma Yoshiyuki – black and white horror paintings

Nakamura Koudai – paintings of goofy people and animals similar to Barry McGee.

Akira Ikezoe – amazing pictures of naked dudes in jungles getting bitten by monkeys

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