“Japanese-style painting” and my works

I paint pictures in Japanese-style using traditional Japanese painting materials and techniques as the base, and show my works as a Japanese-style painter.

The style of the Japanese paintings changes from moment to moment as it absorbs various art styles, cultures and techniques from overseas. It reflects current chaotic world and also the country of Japan itself in the world, which makes the genre quite complex where both old and new coexist.

You can see all kinds of motifs in modern Japanese paintings other than beauties of nature, or “Kacho-fugetsu”. There are even a lot of Japanese-style painters who use abstract way of expression.
The pigments used are wide-ranging from traditional natural pigments to recently-developed artificial pigments, and there are also a variety of Japanese papers and brushes. Painters choose the combination from a number of materials to suit their painting style.

One of the key factors establishes the Japanese-style painting is the use of “Nikawa”, a glue to keep pigments affixed to supports.
Nikawa is extremely primitive glue made from cow skin or fish internal organs, which are boiled in water to obtain the extract (highly purified extract is called “gelatin”. Nikawa has been used since ancient times in all countries in the world).
Recently, however, many paintings are recognized as Japanese-style even without using Nikawa, which means the definition of Japanese painting now is so wide-ranging that it exactly depends upon the concept of the individual painter.
In such a chaotic situation for glue alone, I am taking a broader view of the Japanese –style painting; I would view it as “paintings of Japan and the culture, customs, and landscapes using traditional Japanese materials”.

Based on such view, many of my works use motifs of “language” familiar to the Japanese. Because I can’t help feeling that “language” that have been woven by the Japanese naturally includes feeling, culture and custom unique to the Japanese (just the same as that every country has their own language understood only by the people of the country)

We often see living creatures appear in traditional Japanese nursery songs, proverbs, sayings, folk tales and metaphors. This is because Japan has four seasons, where various animals and plants have been living in the rich natural environment, and also humans, as one species, have been living together with plants and animals in conflict with each other or in co-existence with them during the long history of Japan.
Even modern Japanese living in city with a little nature at least have a feeling to cherish small amount of greens, flowers or insects. In my works, creatures are personalized to guide the observers between the picture world and the real world. They nestle in my works and are looking toward us.
Although a brief description is added, since my motifs are mainly Japanese language and the culture, people who don’t understand them may interpret my works as just creatures, etc are precisely depicted. You can interpret them like that off course, but it’s not that they are just actual creatures depicted as they are, but I would hope that you would enjoy or feel something from the actions or expressions of my imaginary creatures or characters living in my paintings.

Personal History / Major Exhibitions

Born in Tokyo
Graduated Department of Japanese Painting, Tama Art University

Joined the production of ceiling painting for RENGEJI Temple main hall (RENGEJI, Tokyo)
Finished the Graduate School of Tama Art University
Joined the Mannen-zan SEISHOJI Temple Project (SEISHOJI, Tokyo)
Private exhibition, “Ken Shiozaki Exhibition” (Gallery Tomo, Ginza Tokyo)
*also in 2006 and 2008
“Contemporary Japanese Paintings Wonderland” (Takasaki Tower Museum of Art, Gunma)
Private exhibition, “Ken Shiozaki Exhibition” (Gallery Art Morimoto, Ginza Tokyo)
*other than the above, exhibited in many group exhibitions held at department stores.