Nobumasa Takahashi - Tenbeni, Osaka, Godairiki

Nobumasa Takahashi PrintNobumasa Takahashi Print

Tenbeni, Osaka, Godairiki by Nobumasa Takahashi - GP2010/04
Limited Edition A2 (420mm x 594mm) Lithographic Print on 200gsm Elemental Chlorine Free FSC Certified Pulp - £25.00

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Enter Nobumasa Takahashi, a Japanese artist/illustrator who masterfully melds Japan's mythical & fanatical worlds to ill effect in his hugely popular 'Japanese Graffiti' series.

Nobumasa  Takahashi

A self professed 'matiere fanatic', Takahashi works in mixed media, utilising various materials, exploring how they mix together in arriving at the finished piece. On examining Takahashi's work it's evident that he enjoys an eclectic approach ranging from intricate black on white line drawings to more traditional figurative paintings. An artist fond of representational painting, his concepts can be perceived as “Western” in Japan and “Japanese” elsewhere, a unique blend of both Japanese and Western.

Nobumasa Takahashi

The concept behind Tenbeni, Osaka, Godairiki

The scene is set in Osaka, prosperous due to its key geographic link with Japan's ancient capital Kyoto. Osaka was, for a long time, Japan's most important economic center, with a large percentage of the population belonging to the merchant class. Over the course of the Edo period (1603–1867), Osaka grew into one of Japan's major cities and returned to its ancient role as a lively and important port. Its popular culture was closely related to ukiyo-e depictions of life in Edo. Developing in parallel with the urban culture of Kyoto and Edo, Osaka likewise featured bunraku and grand kabuki productions, pleasure quarters, and a lively artistic community.

"Godairiki" are the five great Bodhisattva who defend Japan. Literal translation "Five Great Powers". Moreover, it would be written, "Godairiki" as in the personal belongings of a woman, held as proof of virtue to a man. "Tenbeni" is the red colour painted on the upper part of a letter from the YU-JYO (prostitute) Literal translation "heaven (top edge) red (lip rouge)".

The story runs much deeper than this but like the image itself, more is revealed on each examination. The depth, intricacy and flow that Takahashi crams in is astounding. Order within chaos, each element perfectly links to the next illustrating a tale that can twist and turn in any direction, whilst never losing the plot.

Nobumasa  Takahashi

Notable Works

The Hakone Open-Air Museum 40th anniversary wall painting permanent and collection works (2009)

The National Art Center, Tokyo Museum shop "SFT" collaboration souvenir brand "Hara-Zumou" development (2009)

Osaka BreezeTower wall painting permanent works (2008)

NewYork "ART SPECE TOKYO" publication (2008)

Australia Melbourne TRUNK internal store wall painting (2007)

Nobumasa  Takahashi

Want More!
2009 Takahashi Programme

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Series Background

Throughout 2010 we released a limited edition print from a diverse selection of established and upcoming artists & designers on the last Friday of every month. In December there was a series of exhibitions held in association with Absolut Vodka showcasing the 12 pieces. View the series.

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