Shoko Nakazawa

GALLERY HOURS :11:00 – 19:00

*Open daily 11/2(Thu)〜11/5(Sun) during Art Week Tokyo from 10:00-19:00.

※This exhibition is now concluded.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by.

©Shoko Nakazawa


Kaikai Kiki Gallery is pleased to present “Harmony,” a solo exhibition of Shoko Nakazawa’s work, starting October 27, 2023.

Nakazawa began her career as a graphic designer and illustrator, and has created a strong fanbase through her production of indie soft-vinyl (sofubi) monsters.

In March 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, she produced and exhibited her first two oil paintings for “Healing x Healing,” an exhibition curated by Takashi Murakami at Kaikai Kiki Gallery, and began to attract the attention of collectors both in Japan and abroad. In September of the same year, she presented 11 oil paintings in an exhibition at Hidari Zingaro in Nakano Broadway. The exhibition, in which she exhibited these paintings along with her customized sofubi figures among other things, was a great success, and she began to concentrate on painting.

In 2022, Nakazawa established a painting studio in the suburbs of Tokyo. In September 2022, she held her first solo exhibition exclusively of artworks, entitled “Light and Shade” at Hidari Zingaro, and has since been presenting many new artworks through a series of exhibitions.

In addition to exhibitions in Japan, she has also presented her works at art fairs around the world, including Art Basel Hong Kong, Taipei Dangdai, and The Armory Show in New York, at Kaikai Kiki Gallery’s booths. The works, which depict her lovable and iconic characters, have become very popular among collectors especially in Asia, and have been acquired by collectors around the world.

This is Nakazawa’s long-awaited first major solo exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery. The artist is creating more than 20 new paintings, including a large-scale work that is 3 meters high and 6 meters wide, made up of six panels to fill the gallery wall. The artist will present a series of new paintings featuring her original iconic monsters, Byron and Seedlas, as well as a young girl who seems to symbolize the artist’s inner self. We look forward to seeing you at the gallery.

©Shoko Nakazawa

©Shoko Nakazawa

Message from the Artist

I start my day each morning by refreshing the water and rice for my Shinto altar at home and clapping my hands in prayer.

Let me do a good day’s work today.
Let me lead another day of living properly.

And may my daughter, who lives far away from me, be safe and happy today.

My only daughter, who is now 20 years old, is currently studying abroad at a university in Taiwan to study language, which has been her dream for a long time. Whenever I see the pictures she sends me of her daily life, with friends she has made at the university, and the delicious lunches she has with them, I sincerely hope that this quotidian, precious time for her will continue in perpetuity.

I hope that there will never be another war.

We are now at a tremendous turning point, no matter where you look: world affairs, global environment, AI singularity, war and nuclear threats.

Although it’s crucial that we become aware that the future of the earth and human beings depends on how we live this very moment, we feel there is nothing much we can do and immerse ourselves in the world of unreality, just staring at images created by others on screens to drown out our vague anxiety.

As I paint, I keenly feel that truth and art, or philosophy and art, are very similar. Since all I can do is paint, if all is transient in this world of impermanence as the Buddhist teaching says (“shikisokuzekū” or “form is emptiness, matter is void”), I hope that I can make a small difference by conveying my wishes for a beautiful world.

After all, we are simply one species of creature that is allowed to live on this beautiful earth inhabited by a wide variety of other creatures. We are all connected to each other in some way.

Byron, an original monster character that I often depict in my paintings, is the spirit of a Japanese giant salamander that lives in clean water. I hope you enjoy this little tale of a girl and the creatures.

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