Tomoaki Shibata is a Japanese artist based in Los Angeles. He grew up in Tokyo, Japan, received his BFA from Musashino Art University. He received a Japanese national grant from the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2015 for emerging artists. Shibata's work is influenced by anime and manga but also by traditional Japanese painting as he majored in the art university. His highly expressive and freestyle paintings reflect upon his life experiences. Shibata often put effort into discovering his own original materials for his new paintings with mixed cultural journeys in Los Angeles.
"I use pectin from supermarkets’ bakery section while adding calcium from drug stores in order to make my water base paint solid like sticky ballpoint pen ink. I unified my recent works while setting a Japan domestic famous character Ann-pan-man and my original logo designed H for “Hentai” and/or “Happiness”. I impacted my original combination of character and logo because they are symbolism of “mind globalism” that was more influential during my formative time.
Walt Disney created his empire and many fans like me who love manga, animation, and mice! When I was drawing Ann-pan-man faces, they became my ex-girlfriend's faces. I think I draw past trauma or mental abyss through my painting progress. Sometimes, my figurative painting has been cartoonish since when I had back-breaking multi part-time jobs that were jobs at restaurants, construction sites, and some museums in Japan. I drew actual people like my coworkers and strangers I have seen, from my memory, but the radiated figures looked like topology fruits."
- Tomoaki Shibata