Tomoaki Shibata 

Tomoaki Shibata (b. 1981, Tokyo, Japan) works in a variety of media with a strong emphasis in painting. His highly expressive and visceral images reflect upon his life experiences and thoughts and destroy boundaries between high and low art. Although educated at one of Japan’s most prestigious art universities, his work is perhaps influenced more by manga and Japanese traditional and contemporary illustration filtered through his unique, emotive, and guttural mode of expression. Shibata received his BFA from Musashino Art University, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA after having received a Japanese national grant from the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2015 for emerging artists. 

- by Ichiro Irie 

"My art could be conceptually given popular hashtags like #painting, #lowbrow, #anime, #japan, #losangeles, #gestural, and maybe #spooky. My paintings use multi-materials, including tissue, q-tips, special architectural glitter, and sparkling fashion beads that are synthesized into bumpy canvases like abstract wall assemblage sculpture backdrops backlighting manga Egon Schiele-ish lines momentarily designing figures and animals. (The cartoonish lives include cats, dogs, birds, strangers, myself, friends, family, fake famous Japanese manga characters, and Kaiju. I depict them from my memory and imagination.) Sometimes my paintings have entertaining readability like storyboards explaining my experiences from childhood to now, but sometimes does not as like just enjoying chill-out noise fulfilling the floating lifetime. I am from Japan.


My favorite tune is Raymond Scott's Playhouse. It is dark, playful and even frequently performs a sort of fun shamanism. My art gesture and art animism anime is sort of similar to that. My art inspires the audience`s some old fundamental brain function. It is our magical power that we mankind can project our playful imagination over the spooky darkness of winter forests and Santa Monica night tide."

- Tomoaki Shibata 

Tomoaki website