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Takanari Tazaki

Work / Illustration

Feel like you’re floating with Takanari Tazaki’s velvety illustrations

Ever wondered what it was like to float around? Well now you can with Takanari Tazaki’s suspense-filled paintings. The Yokohama-based artist depicts flying bodies, giant globules of water droplets, drifting and exaggerated perspectives from either above or below to create an airy sense of floating. Delicately painted, the sensitively lit paintings possess a velvety smoothness and satisfyingly cinematic compositions.

He looks to his own experiences to inspire said works, utilising the third person perspective to create a painterly fantasy. The illustrations are mainly based on Japanese pop lyrics from the 1980s and 90, but also often hint to Hong Kong action movies and the science fiction genre through certain colour palettes. The narrative of his illustrations however, is based around his childhood drawing up in the suburbs.

“Since I was a child I’ve lived in a suburban area and ran around parks, condominiums and apartments near my house," Takanari tells It’s Nice That. At first glance, “there is nothing there to do,” he explains of his quiet childhood neighbourhood, “but if you look closely, there are various stories lurking everywhere. Strange things happen when no one is watching.” So, in several of his beautifully painted illustrations, Takanari draws out these subtle narratives through tiny visual hints that the viewer has to searchingly seek out with a keen eye.

Painting neighbourhoods and city scenes that are universally familiar on many levels, Takanari’s paintings feature blue skies, car windows and road markings light up the seemingly ordinary street scenes. But through his perspective, or the slightly off-kilter colour palette, Takanari suggests a tone that is out of the ordinary. “I want to challenge graphic work,” adds the Japanese illustrator on his fluid paintings.

Presently, the artist has become increasingly interested in martial arts films, “so I like to draw muscles. I would like to study the mechanisms and beauty of the body away from the story in the future,” he adds on the matter. And continuing to exhibit his intricate paintings in the upcoming future, Takanari also aspires to extend his pool of shows to include international venues, as well as work in areas of sports, music and movie artworks.

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Takanari Tazaki