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Collection of original artworks by Ajiro Kosuke.
Click here to visit the viewing room.

 Kosuke Ajiro (b. 1980) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Tokyo, Japan. Over a long time, Ajiro has built an elaborate "Another Realm" in his mind. All his artworks are presented as manifestations of this imaginative Realm, in whatever medium is used, from acrylic and water-colour painting to ceramic sculpture, mixed media installation, animation film, and original music.  

 Informed by personal memories, dreams, and familiar events he grew up with as a child, "Another Realm" is visualised with the strong narrative of a civilization that has been lost at the medieval stage of its development. Self-characterized as an archaeologist searching for this Realm, Ajiro records the history of the distant past, as it slowly unfolds before his eyes. With the analogy of the lost civilization, the finished artworks are meant to be excavated artefacts, which is why their surfaces sometimes have a powdery quality and show traces of age or decay.

 Each artwork is based on the historical context of "Another Realm." The characters and creatures have names, and the scenes in the artwork tell stories such as the myth about the creation of the Realm, legends of gods,  allegories, or festivals. These detailed settings have evolved into a whole universe, with its own culture and history, chronicles, belief system and languages, and its full expanse is still to unfold.

 Drawing on traditional Japanese narrative scrolls, European illuminated manuscripts and various folk arts reflecting faith, Ajiro's artworks are full of absurdity and disorder, with the notable influence of Hieronymus Bosch. Dialectics of cruelty/humor, grotesque/beauty, horror/divine prevail, and the artist himself has often been represented as a girl doppelganger. His art can show traces of Jung's psychology, Surrealist visions, Outsider art, and Japanese character culture. (text by Sachiko Smith/two persimmons)

In the artist’s words; 

“Ever since I was a young child, I have been aware of the other world in my head.
There, I would be a totally another person, whose adventures I often keep records of with my art.
The finished artworks bring me great joy, whatever happened to the me-person in there….  “

Since his first solo show held in 2010, Ajiro’s unique visual voice has been widely heard both in Japan and overseas. His artworks have been well exhibited, and also published in “Barbachica”, as well as in children’s picture books “Madame Saber” and “S.q.u.e.a.k….. Here Comes The Letter”. 


Portrait photo: Osamu Kurihara

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