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BackArts & Culture » [Illustrations] The Retro, Neon Japan of Kyoko Nakamura

[Illustrations] The Retro, Neon Japan of Kyoko Nakamura

These eye-catching illustrations articulate Japan's hyper dualities.

Japan simultaneously embodies opposite extremes, with futuristic technologies mingling with ancient traditions. Whether it's a vending machine placed beside a 300-year-old temple or depictions of ancient relics adorning a cellphone charm, the country consistently mashes up styles and time periods. This theme lies at the heart of Kyoko Nakamura's colorful works. Using digital tools like Photoshop and analog materials like acrylic gouache, she captures the dichotomies with great specificity and neon intensity.

Kyoko explained to It's Nice That that she first started making artwork when she was young and is inspired by the many local temples in Kyoto, where she lives. “Recently, I like to draw interiors of rooms and shops. On one hand, the rooms are full of decorative antiques and traditional Japanese crafts. But on the other, the rooms also incorporate contemporary elements such as neon billboards and smartphones,” she explains.

Hoping to work full-time as an illustrator, Kyoko is focusing on prints, book covers and posters. She was recently commissioned by a local sweet-maker to design the packaging, which proved quite popular with foreigners.

Check out her illustrations below: 

[Images via Supersonic]

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