Untitled (No. 62), 2023. Colored pencil, marker and ink on cardboard; 29 x 32 1/2 in (73.7 x 82.5 cm).
All images of works by Yuichiro Ukai courtesy of the artist, Yukiko Koide Presents, Kyoto, and Venus Over Manhattan, New York.
The hype surrounding Yuichiro Ukai rose to a fever pitch well before his 25th birthday. The Japanese visual artist, whose paintings evoke the imagery of contemporary subcultures like manga and anime with the traditions of the Japanese epic, became a name to know in the art world in 2020, when the American Folk Art Museum in New York acquired his mixed media piece Yokai. Now, the illustrator—who is based in Shiga prefecture and is a member of the renowned Yamanami workshop—is getting his first solo exhibition in the United States, at New York City’s Venus Over Manhattan gallery.
The show, organized in collaboration with the Kyoto gallerist Yukiko Koide of Yukiko Koide Presents, will feature 15 new works by the artist, along with a new catalogue text by Kenjiro Hosaka, the director of the Shiga Museum of Art. Opening November 17th and running through January 13, 2024, we can’t wait for Ukai’s paintings—which are teeming with drawings of lively samurai, Pokémon, skeletons, dinosaurs, insects, and pop culture figures—to make their way downtown.