Online gallery of Japanese contemporary art

New Arrival: Ai Yamaguchi unveils prints that combine Edo-period art with modern anime illustrations


kenuru” by Ai Yamaguchi

AZITO is pleased to introduce three new artworks by Ai Yamaguchi, whose unique style captures the idiosyncratic spirit of growing up in Japan as a child of the modern generation.

As an artist who utilises a unique combination of delicately drawn lines and celluloid picture-like expressions to vividly portray the lives of young female prostitutes, her works often conjure up a sense of curiosity and amazement within the viewer. The depiction of young girls from multiple angles and in a wide variety of poses manages to combine the powerful sexuality of the Edo period with contemporary eroticism.

Through the use of handcrafted, delicate paper materials in her prints, decorative embossing techniques as well as vibrant colours that celebrate feminine strength and the youthful energy of life, Yamaguchi manages to create works that look back to history while simultaneously embodying the present and hinting at the future. Sensitive to art from the Edo period, Yamaguchi incorporates styles from this era with popular trends in manga and anime, turning her works into modern ‘ukiyoe’ paintings, combining the characteristic ‘flatness’ of traditional Japanese art with a contemporary artistic vision.


hanasukoto wa kono yama hodo” by Ai Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi‘s works elude easy definition. To the viewer, her flat works emphasise lines as well as distort colors and shapes. Abstract and free, Yamaguchi does not seem to clearly define whether her expression of planes takes place in two-dimensional or three-dimensional form; instead, she freely steps over the conventional boundaries that set the two perspectives apart. To lovers and collectors of Japanese art, Yamaguchi would be a name to look out for, given her exceptionally progressive, yet aesthetically pleasing ways of blending the traditional with the new.

text by Bonnie Oeni