Chiho Aoshima started her art practice in the 1990s, rising to prominence with the international debut of her masterful, digitally rendered work in the acclaimed Superflat exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2001.
A self-taught artist and an early member of the Japanese art collective Kaikai Kiki, she began working in Adobe Illustrator before expanding into traditional mediums namely drawing, watercolor and, more recently, ceramics. Otherworldly figures and dream-like landscapes depicting child-like spirits, anthropomorphic flora, fauna and even skyscrapers, feature in Aoshimaâs Illustrator-drawn prints and murals, hand-painted works and digital animations (in collaboration with New Zealand animator Bruce Ferguson).
Distinctly feminine and spiritual, the worlds and their inhabitants Aoshima has created are built on the natural world, playful and often humorous, belying melancholy and darkness. This duality is to be found in other characteristic themes â utopia/dystopia, nature/technology, natural/artificial â through which she explores ideas relating to the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Deeply influenced by Japanese religious and cultural beliefs, her work is rooted in Shintoism, folklore and art historical traditions, which she interprets in a contemporary context to express her views on the future, humankindâs coexistence with nature, and the realities of our rapidly changing world.