Born in Tokyo, Chiho Aoshima is a Japanese pop artist who works with sculpture, animation, and figurative drawings. Her work portrays young women – along with demons and ghosts – in Surreal scenes and dreamscapes. Her feminine figures have big eyes and small facial features in a style known as ‘shojo’.
With no formal training in art, Aoshima made her debut as an artist with a series of digital prints that were created by her use of Adobe Illustrator to make her dreamscapes. Her computer drawings were then printed onto paper and could actually be printed onto any surface such as leather or plastic for different effects.
She is a member of Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Art Collective, a group of artists who produce pop imagery that blends stylistic attributes of anime, manga cartoons, and traditional ukiyo-e prints, especially compositions made by Hokusai. Her use of a flat line and single plane of depth emulates the superflat style of Murakami’s postmodern art movement. She was included in his acclaimed “Superflat” exhibitions in 2000 and 2001 when her digital ink-jet print, “Red-Eyed Tribe,” originally designed as an advertisement for an Issey Miyake fashion show, was blown up and mounted as a mural in the exhibition “Superflat.” A smaller version can be seen at the Seattle Art Museum.
Many of her recent chromogenic prints are influenced by natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes as well as by the historical event of Hiroshima. In 2004, she participated in the Carnegie International, exhibiting a computer-generated, manga-inspired mural which depicted curling tendrils of flames and the force of a tsunami. Any of these catastrophoc events could have produced the explosive combinations of frenzied humans and ghosts in her 2005 “Gushing Zombies.” In the same year, her “City Glow,” a multi-panel series of illustrations, was displayed as public art in the subways of London and New York City. There was an accompanying film with the same name made with animator Bruce Ferguson which reflected Aoshima’s interest in the relationship between people and nature.
Her work was shown in MOCA’s 2001 exhibit “Superflat” and is in the permanent collections of the Seattle Art Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, MOCA Chicago, and Geffen Contemporary.