Tokyo inspires illustrators with its heady mix of the modern and the ancient, the fantastic and mundane. Erica Ward, an American artist living in Tokyo, brings all these elements together by blending classic bijin-ga, portraiture of beauties, with the urban landscape of Tokyo. Her images of hard rocking geishas, architectural elements tangled in hair, and kimono hems drifting into street scenes are surreal, blending the familiar characteristics of Tokyo life in unexpected ways.
Her beauties, depicted in fine pen lines and watercolors, are paired with the colors of the Tokyo subway lines that are indicated on subway maps, rosenzu. The exhibition features 17 of Erica Ward’s new illustrations.
The exhibition space, Clouds Art+Coffee, located in dense and laid-back Koenji district, serves coffee and provides gallery space for established and up and coming artists from around the world. Guests can sip coffee and leisurely view the gallery walls. The exhibition opens at 6 p.m. on June 15th with a reception. Admission to the reception and exhibition is free. Note that the gallery is closed on Mondays.
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You will see many of my stories on Japan Travel are about places and events outside of big city centers and tourist destinations. While I highly recommend the big name sights and experiences, I encourage visitors to see and feel the atmosphere off the beaten path, too.