Hisashi Tenmyouya | From Passive Moon To Vibrant Sun

  • Above Left: Nine Kamakura Samurai (from Contemporary Japanese Youth Culture Scroll) August 2001, acrylic on wood (60cm x 42cm)
  • Above Right: Archery 2008 acrylic on wood (90 cm x 70 cm)

Japanese contemporary artist Hisashi Tenmyouya was born in February, 1966 in Tokyo. He is a Saitama-based artist who infuses traditional Japanese art with non-traditional media (mostly acrylic paint) using images from modern life. He calls this work “Neo Nihonga”, which seeks to renew the relevance of Japanese-style painting by portraying old motifs through a modern lens.

In 2010, Tenmyouya proposed a new art concept called Basara, referring to and applying the aesthetics of defiance, extending from the “outlaw samurais” of the Nanboku dynasty era to the youth sub-cultures of today’s Japan. Basara is also a response to the influx of Western media and culture which has greatly influenced Japanese life.

As written on his website, Tenmyouya seeks through his art to bring back the vibrant “sun” in Japanese art, where before it was relegated as the passive “moon”.

  • Tenmyouya created the Official Art Poster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

His artwork is held at the following international museums and galleries: The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, USA), MFAH, Chazen Museum of Art (Madison, USA), Takamatsu City Museum of Art (Takamatsu, Japan) and Sakura Crey-pas (Osaka, Japan).

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