Chinatsu Ban | the artist
The artist Chinatsu Ban
Born 1973, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
Lives and works in Japan, .
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Original artworks, prints, exhibition posters, monographs, books, collectibles.
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Bans beautifully crafted work features elephants and human figures floating against Japanese washi paper backgrounds or in front of candy-colored stripes. Rendered delicately and with a childlike touch, Bans endearing characters are frequently shown wearing underpants or tights, or stranger still, sprouting cactus plants from their heads.
Asked why she chooses elephants and underwear, the answer lies in the comfort they provide…
Cuteness is an obsession for Ban, and her depictions are tinged with psychological edge. The Japanese word for cute is kawaii. More than just an adjective, the word has taken on tremendous cultural resonance in recent decades; the Japanese teen magazine CREA once noted that kawaii is the most widely used, widely loved, habitual word in modern living Japanese. From Hello Kitty, who first appeared on stationary products in the early 1970s, to more recent phenomena like pop duo Puffy AmiYumi, Japanese contemporary culture and the consumer goods market are saturated by all things kawaii. Anything can be made cute, even, in this case, a pile of elephant poop…
Portrait of the artist
Chinatsu Ban t-shirt
Born in Aichi prefecture, Ban graduated in 1996 from the Department of Oil Painting at Tama Art University. She works at Kaikai Kiki. Motifs of elephants and underwear abound in Bans work, as they symbolize protection and comfort for the artist. While her pastel colors and soft touch convey cuteness and lovability, her bold compositions are composed with vibrant forms and rich expression. Ban participated in such group shows in Japan as the Yokai Festival (Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo) in 2001, Tokyo Girls Bravo 2 (NADiff, Tokyo) in 2002, and the 1000th issue celebration of Weekly Pia Magazine, Hope – The Future is in Our Hands (Laforet Museum, Tokyo)…