Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Imiri Sakabashira at Trancepop: A Rare Old Time

Whoever said lightning never strikes the same spot twice sadly never got a chance to drop into Trancepop Gallery. Without allowing a chance to recover from the outstanding Maho Shimao exhibit, the whimsical beasts of Imiri Sakabashira blew the roof right back off the place.

Sakabashira, a prominent ero-guro artist from the avante-garde manga magazine Garo, also produces surrealist works depicting kappa (a turtle-like legendary creature), kaiju, and other made-up creatures hanging out in our everyday lives. Viewing his work from the perspective of a Japanese, the retro art design and familiar scenes of old Japan make me long for a time that was over before I was even born. In this sense his work has a universal sense of nostalgia that appeals to an international audience.

At the same time, the mix of unidentified creatures and dreamlike-scenes create a parallel, hyper-modern environment. Welcome to the Planet of Sakabashira! Relax, enjoy the trip, and reacquaint yourself with the monstrosities that your childhood fantasies were made of!

While Sakabashira is a big name in the underground manga scene, keeping it small has helped him keep it real over his 20 year professional career. He makes nearly everything (save for printed books, natch) with his own two hands. The figures in his gallery are all painted and packaged by the artist himself! You can't deny the charm of his Neko-kappa figure.

How many talents does this guy have?! Stacked next to his figures were CDs of his New Wave band, Rouden Ginza, each printed and signed by Sakabashira himself! They don't make 'em like this anymore. A true Renaissance man, his success is the result of his pure love for the act of creating art and his sincere attitude towards his fans.

The exhibit runs until Oct 11, but there will be an artist signing and talk session on Oct 3 at Trancepop Gallery. This is a must for everyone in Kansai this weekend! Make sure to pick up his hand-made figures and music and give a shout-out from TSB!

here for more pics from the show!
Imiri Sakabashira Show

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