Last Updated:Jul 1, 2007

Poo On Art #6 – Shibuya Tadaoimi: “Colours”

Tadaomi Shibuya’s paintings are strikingly vivid, and unapologetically pop.

The explosions of carefully calculated tones of colour in his paintings perfectly complement the equally colourful apparel at Harajuku’s two-story 55DSL.

Much of his works are influenced by hip hop, and possibly animation; portraits of beautiful black men and women (including such starts as Kelly Roland of Desiny’s Child fame) and Gundam-like robots are interspersed throughout the store.

The linearity of the paintings give the impression of them being designed digitally on the computer – and perhaps they are – but the glistening surface of the canvases attest to the fact the finished products are indeed hand-painted. This final ‘human’ touch gives warmth to Shibuya’s work, which otherwise might be overlooked as just some more seen-it-before, slick graphic designs.

There is surprisingly a lot to see for an in-store exhibit. If you’re a fan of pop art (or just attracted to trashy colours like me), and have some time to spare in Harajuku, this is a highly recommended time-killer. Good music, too.

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Lena Oishi

Lena Oishi

Born in Japan in 1982, grew up in England and Australia. With a BA in Media and Communications and MA in Cinema Studies, she now lives in Tokyo as a freelance translator and occasional editor. Works include VICE Magazine, Japanese editorial supervision of "Metronome No. 11 - <i>What Is To Be Done? Tokyo</i> " (Seikosha, 2007), and translation for film and art festival catalogs. She can also interpret simultaneously if you give her enough candy. Lena likes making her eyeballs bleed after watching way too many films while eating ice cream in the dark.

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