I’m not very proficient in thinking of things in 3D and how they look in the real world. By drawing on traditional Japanese art, I express art on a flat perspective.
— Chiho Aoshima
The magic of Chiho Aoshima’s work lies in her ability to create dreamscapes that appeal to a universal sensibility. Born in Tokyo in 1974, Aoshima graduated from Hosei University with a degree in economics and found that she had a desire to create art, rather than work in finance.
Ukiyo-e and Superflat
Aoshima grew up in a culture full of traditional Japanese art, which is the foundation of her works. Ukiyo-e, the type of art that flourished in the 17th through the nineteenth centuries in Japan, especially the works of Katsushika Hokusai, had a profound influence on Aoshima. Hokusai, whose painting, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, is iconic and recognizable around the world, also painted and produced wood block prints of landscapes, flowers and even erotica. He also painted and illustrated books of Japanese folk tales, many of which included Yueri, the Japanese equivalent of ghosts.
After teaching herself how to use Adobe Illustrator, it was Hokusai’s work, modern manga and anime that shaped the direction of Aoshima’s works. “I didn’t study art,” Aoshima said, “so I’m not very proficient in thinking of things in 3D and how they look in the real world. By drawing on traditional Japanese art, I express art on a flat perspective.”
Her work paralleled the Superflat art movement, founded by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, who has influenced and supported many young artists, including Chiho Aoshima. The similarities between the works of Aoshima and those of Hokusai are apparent, although they were done centuries apart and in very different medium.
Chiho Aoshima’s works are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the Seattle Art Museum. She has had solo and group exhibits throughout the world.
Chiho Aoshima Lithographs at VFA
Please contact us if you would like more information about Japanese Apricot, Building Head or any of the other fine art at VFA.
Yusuf Huysal and Ili Saarinen. Interview Chiho Aoshima. TimeOut Tokyo. August 8 2016.
Saatchi Art Magazine. Chiho Aoshima Interview. Reports From Los Angeles. August 11, 2006.
ArtSpace, San Antonio. Chiho Aoshima. 2006.