mini series…

In prep for the large work I just completed, I made 3 miniature versions on wood backed paper. Here is the series – each a slightly different size (around 20cm x 20cm), but they line up like this for presentation. I was inspired by those decorative screen doors that separate rooms; traditionally adorned with scenes of nature and such. They are often used in contemporary Japanese art too, so I made my own portable, miniature version to cordon off parts of my desk. They haven’t got titles, but they all have some absurdity about them – like choreographed back dancing on the TV. All silly gesturing and posing. That’s too long for a title, but that was part of the idea.



ink, gouache & pencil on paper
20cm x 20cm



Tenancy 3

Black Art Projects in Melbourne currently has some of my work on display in “Tenancy 3” until the 29th of April. For information about Black Arts Projects or the show, visit their website or online catalog.

New Work…

The Middle (watercolour and pencil on paper, 190mm x 230mm)

Usually I stick with my pencils and work straight onto to paper, but this time I put down a wash of blue and grey to add a bit of depth. I was pretty happy with how it came out so I thought I might share.  It reminded me a bit of the azure wash you often see in those old Japanese ukiyo-e (by Hiroshige), only a bit more washed out.

p.s. If you are interested in buying this one, drop me a line via the email address at the bottom of my contact page.


new work…

Just finished up what I was doing – I’ll scan it in as soon as I can and add it to the gallery. But as I was saying before, this one is mounted paper on a 22cm x 22cm wooden board.

Tadanori Yokoo…

I’ve posted about Tadanori Yokoo a few times before. He’s a cool dude, and his old school designs still look as fresh as they did almost 50 years ago. These days he’s more focused on painting, and Japan Times has posted a great interview with him revealing some of the reasons he decided to drop design for more personal creative avenues. Enjoy.

Ota Fine Arts…

A satisfying fix of contemporary artists can be found at Ota Fine Arts, a short walk from Roppongi Station. There site has been updated this year, but I’m quite fond of there old one, so I’ve put a link straight to the meat in the sandwich. Enjoy. (image. Tomoko Kashiki)


Kagemusha. Pencil on watercolour paper. 40cm x 50cm. カゲムシャ. 鉛筆と水彩用の紙で描きました.
Details and a larger image can be found here in the gallery.

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Being creative with Shrines and Temples.

Sean came to Japan 5 years ago from Tasmania, Australia. Recently he has been producing art works based on shrines and temples (in Joetsu city, Niigata). During times when not taking English lessons, or when on weekends away from the conversation school where he works, he spends his time focused on his art work. Last year in September, he had his first exhibition and has plans for a second this coming December. His dream being to one day make a living from his art.

Using pencils and watercolour, he describes the tiles and wood in fine detail, rendering the scenes in deformed 3D to emphasise and immerse. Some of his influences come from Japanese manga; like Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira and Matsumoto Taiyo’s Tekkon Kinkreet. In Joetsu city, he can walk and plan his images, drawing inspiration from the roadside rocks and trees, moss and the long history of the area. In his words, he describes it as “shinpiteki”: mysterious in Japanese.

Since he was young, he has enjoyed drawing. He attended the local university art school, majoring in design and was employed at a design office soon after graduation. There he helped produce web content until the company unfortunately went bankrupt. For about 1 year following, he engaged in freelance design, but found the commercial work limiting creatively, and his enthusiasm for design was soon extinguished.

While considering his future, he recalled advice his parents had given him about broadening his horizons. An opportunity to attend an interview for a large English conversation school in Japan gave him a chance to do so.

While a child he had always had a keen interest in things Japanese; watching Astroboy during the 80’s animation boom, and having an interest in package design during his studies at art school; describing the many wrapped layers of souvenirs as like that of an onion.

The conversation school sent him to Joetsu. A peaceful city similar in size and atmosphere to his hometown, where he soon met other creative people, including illustrators and musicians, also pursuing their arts.

In May 2009, he married his girlfriend of 4 years; Ayako, and he said with some jest, “I plan on living here at the moment”.

Last year, in Australia, he had his first exhibition with an old friend and artist, displaying about 20 pieces based on popular Japanese monster and hero TV series. After some success, and after returning to Joetsu city, he decided to pursue art seriously and immediately went about setting up a studio for his new work. Now, based in Joetsu, he is able to walk around his local area sourcing material for his next exhibition. He currently keeps a blog and regularly updates on his progress; receiving approx. 300 hits a month. He is positive about the future, and hopes to share more of his art with both local audiences and those abroad.

TeraMachi (Town of Temples and Shrines)

Finally, after 2 months of (not so solid) work, Teramachi is finished! I have been really looking forward to finishing this one…even more so to moving onto something else (probably smaller, with less shrines, and very little detail). Hope you enjoy. I will upload some detail shots into the gallery too, so feel free to check them out. Cheers. Sean.