Chiho Aoshima’s murals feature birds, flowers, ghosts, and demons colorfully infused with traditions of Japanese comics, animation, and landscape painting. Though deeply informed by art history, this fantasy world of desire and terror looks forward to a mechanized future envisioned through a 21st-century vocabulary of computer-generated imagery.
Aoshima draws on the expanse and tranquility found in historical Japanese scroll painting while permeating each image with contemporary elements including an abundance of female protagonists and stylistic references to manga (comic books). The digitally saturated archival paper of Magma Spirit Explodes Tsunami is Dreadful (2004) fills an entire wall. The titular doe-eyed character explodes with fiery energy, indifferent to a city nearby being ravaged by a watery disaster. Panoramic in scope, the work seems alive: feisty women fly in the background and flames appear to breathe. Aoshima’s use of color, symmetry, and anthropomorphism turns the apocalyptic into the cathartic, the chaotic into the calm, and the futuristic into a natural state of being.
Chiho Aoshima was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1974 and continues to lives there. She received an economics degree from Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan, in 1995. She has had solo exhibitions at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2006); Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon, France (2006); and University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, CA (2003). Her work has been included in exhibitions such as Rising Sun, Melting Moon, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel (2006); Ecstasy: In and About Altered States, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2005); and Little Boy, Japan Society, New York, NY (2005).