b. Fukuoka, Japan
Onuma describes his creative process as “a form of improvisation with a sense of playfulness”. Featuring a vivid color palette, his work ranges from abstract to surreal paintings, often using a mix of acrylic, oil, and spray paint.
Born and raised in the countryside of Japan, Onuma was greatly affected by the mono-cultured environment that surrounded him. Early on, as an escape from reality, Onuma discovered anime such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Dragon Ball, incorporating the characters – specifically the monsters – into his childhood paintings. Unknowingly, this would lay the foundation for his future artistic style.
Moving from Japan to the United Kingdom to study Fine Arts at London’s Central Saint Martins was a turning point in his creative journey. In stark contrast to his hometown, London was at first an overwhelming setting. It was through the process of overcoming the barriers of communication and culture differences that he began retreating to his nostalgic childhood memories of anime. Finding comfort in his imaginary monster characters, Onuma ultimately combined his natural painting style with the new structured techniques he was learning in university (which he aptly named fusion painting). Rooted in the subconscious, the result was a series of dream-like abstract works with the beginnings of Onuma’s surreal landscapes.
Post-graduation (2016), Onuma moved to Amsterdam. He recently dubbed these past 5 years, Monster Project, which incorporates reoccurring characters of elephants and Cloud-kun (a creation by Onuma making use of an informal Japanese honorific suffix). A continuation of his fusion painting style, Onuma’s monsters during this time have begun to become more physically defined, as the monsters, animals, and other creatures evolve along with the artist.
Enjoy Hiroaki’s world.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Born in 1988 in Fukuoka and raised in Tochigi, Japan, Onuma holds a Fine Art Degree from Central Saint Martins (2016) and a Fashion Business Diploma from Mejiro Fashion Design College (2009). Onuma has had a steady exhibition schedule throughout Europe over the past 6 years, being featured in several solo and group shows, including: Pacific Breeze II, White Conduit Project, London (2021); Day Dream, Sobering Galerie, Paris (2020); Dream Monster, (IM)MATERIAL, Amsterdam (2020); Colorful Monsters, September Tokyo, Amsterdam (2019); 101 Monsters, Fuiji Build, Hiroshima, Japan (2018); SALON NIPPON, Het Garage, Amsterdam (2018); What Now, Candid Arts Trust, London (2017); and I Still Pick My Nose, Wayward Gallery, London.
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Peter Augustus Owen