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Featured | Ryuta Shishikura

Ryuta Shishikura remarkably expresses dualism in his artworks. He symbolizes  mercy and cruelty through a sculpture called “Invasion”. According to the Jataka tales (meaning Birth Story 300 BC- 400AD), God drew a rabbit on the moon praising its strong faith, because the rabbit tried to sacrifice its life to devote to the priest. Shishikura turned such a rabbit with a beautiful heart into an invader to the earth from space with a scary face and twisted body. He used driftwood from a river to create this interesting sculpture.


Shishikura was deeply inspired by a science fiction movie “They Live” (1988) directed by John Carpenters. “Invasion” rabbit came to the earth trying to let humans obey it. 


Japan lost World War II in 1945, and Japan was occupied by the US and needed to obey them. He is describing the story at the time in the work “Obey”. He painted the Tokyo Tower, which was constructed as a general radio and TV tower, completed in 1958. In the same way as the movie “They Live”, Shishikura is imagining that Japan was brainwashed through the media to obey the US…. Above the tower, he noted the date atomic bombs were used, stating Japan’s sky is dominated by the US. He painted the American flag and president Truman on the back of this work. In this work, dualism is defeat and victory, Japan and the US. 


Using flames like red and orange, “Sun” radiates strong light outside the window. Looking back on the work, we will find a prisoner looking at the sun. We can find brightness and darkness as duality from this work.

He aims to create a “pure art”, not design. He paints the back of each artwork in less than 5 minutes. To avoid designing, he does not take time to think about composition. 

Born in 1995 in Kanagawa, Japan, Ryuta Shishikura is a self taught artist based in Tokyo, Japan. His works were exhibited in the National Art Center Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, The Ueno Royal Museum, and Museum of Modern Art Saitama. He graduated from school of Media Studies in Josai International University, Tokyo in 2018. He was in an art making team for  Shin Godzilla (2016, Toho Co., Ltd.). 

​- JC

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