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Artist Bio

Mr.

Mr. (b. 1969, Cupa, Japan) graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Sokei Art School in Tokyo in 1996. Mr.'s work simultaneously studies and partakes in otaku, the Japanese "cute" subculture marked by an obsession with adolescence, manga, anime, video games, and more. Like his fellow Superflat artists, Mr. approaches the visual language of anime and manga as a means of examining Japanese culture at large, fusing high and low forms of contemporary expression. In past work, Mr. has played with the hypersexualized portrayal of young women prevalent in otaku. Known in Japan as “lolicon,” a portmanteau of “Lolita Complex,” this word has come to refer to the otaku preference for explicitly fictional young girls. In the years since the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor meltdown in Tohoku, Japan, Mr. has begun to move away from the cute characters, bright colors, and clean finishes characteristic of his work, and has gravitated toward a gritty and abstract painting style, reminiscent of his early work inspired by Arte Povera, through which he explores themes of destruction.

 

The artist has exhibited internationally in both group and solo exhibitions including Animamix Biennale 2015-2016, Daegu Art Museum, South Korea; Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop, Seattle Art Museum (2014); Kyoto-Tokyo: From Samurais to Mangas, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco (2010); Animate, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan (2009); KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art, Vancouver Art Gallery (2008); RED HOT: Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2007); and Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture, Japan Society, New York (2005), among others. Mr.'s work is represented in numerous public institutions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Seattle Art Museum, and private collections worldwide. The artist lives and works in Saitama, just outside of Tokyo, Japan.