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An Immaterial World

Superflat artist Chiho Aoshima and her dreamworlds inhabited by yokai and shojo

REBIRTH OF THE WORLD, Installation view/ Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, 2016, Photo by IKKI OGATA ©2007-2016 Chiho Aoshima/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Chiho Aoshima is a Japanese artist living and working in Japan. Her work primarily portrays young women, supernatural spirits and nature using vibrant colours in hypnagogic scenes.


Aoshima is a member of the Kaikai Kiki, a Japanese organisation founded by Takashi Murakami in 2001 dedicated to the management, promotion and growth of emerging artists. She joined the organisation after graduating from Hosei University in Tokyo in 1995 with a degree in economics, and began working in Murakami’s art production “factory” with no previous formal artistic training.


REBIRTH OF THE WORLD, Installation view/ Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, 2016, Photo by IKKI OGATA



Originally, her works focused on the use of chromogenic prints, taking advantage of mastery of Adobe Illustrator. Nowadays, she has expanded her repertoire to digital animations, sculptures, hand-painted works and more. Every conceivable material is a possible medium and canvas, underlining the surreal and transcendent themes in her works.


Chiho Aoshima, Botan, 2007, FRP, human hair, kimono fabric, stainless steel, lecquer, 1875×1150×1150mm



Her pieces draw on a diverse range of imagery, such as Japanese yokai. Yokai means something unexplainable and mysterious, and covers everything from unexpected occurrences to phantoms that can be malevolent or malicious, but is not limited to Japanese folklore.

Chiho Aoshima, Japanese Apricot 3 - A pink dream, 2007, Digital print mounted under plexiglass, 1418×1700mm



Femininity, sexuality, purity, cruelty, death and rebirth are just a few of the other motifs present, and her work falls under the superflat post-modern movement created by Murakami. The plight and exploits of the women in her compositions, combined with the dichotomies of humanity and nature, supernatural and real, and innocence and violence, make Aoshima’s body of art truly special.




All images ©2007-2016 Chiho Aoshima/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Right Reserved. 

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