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Top 5: Japanese Artists

by Jack Guy

Feb 29, 2020

Gion Matsuri, Kyoto, Japan © S35ktmo | Dreamstime

Destinations / Asia

Japan has a proud artistic tradition and there is a huge number of influential contemporary figures producing work that is appreciated around the world. Here are five to look out for.


Yoshitomo Nara

Best known for wide-eyed portraits of children, this Tokyo-based painter is one of the biggest names in the Superflat movement. The style mixes traditional Japanese aesthetics with references to contemporary culture, such as manga comic books.


Aya Takano

Another painter, Takano is influenced by sci-fi novels and comic books. One of her most famous works is called “EARTH” (2004).


Mariko Mori

Performance artist and sculptor Mori attended Chelsea College of Art in London, in the late 1980s before returning to Japan. She is known for provocative performances such as Tea Ceremony (1995), in which she serves tea to Japanese businessmen while dressed as an alien-like secretary figure.



An animator known for her work examining Japanese identity, Tabaimo is based in Karuizawa. Much of her work focuses on culture and the impact of globalization and technology.


Daido Moriyama

One of a pioneering group of street photographers, Moriyama made his name capturing images of post-war Japan as the country developed at breakneck speed.



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