Retrofuturist Drawings by Kyoko Nakamura


WordsManon Baeza

Based in Kyoto, the young Japanese illustrator Kyoko Nakamura transports viewers into a retrofuturist world with her colourful pop creations. With the advent of social media, more and more artists are now able to develop online communities as a new way of communicating and gaining visibility that has become indispensable to young creatives. Nakamura is part of this art world, regularly sharing her work on Instagram and Twitter.

Through these various digital platforms, you can check out her work, dominated by masterful lines, illustrating a certain Japan of the 1980s, inspired by her present surroundings, representing an era when flashy colours were everywhere, in both design and fashion. In order to depict this unique aesthetic, the artist employs both digital techniques, such as photoshop, and artisanal materials including acrylic gouache.

Kyoko Nakamura opens the doors on an imagined world, adorned with shops for invented toys, warm baths and kissatens. Her colourful neon illustrations primarily feature shops, bedrooms or portraits of a new generation. Each work is characterised by crammed landscapes and a disorienting level of detail. A number of pieces also feature traditional elements from Japanese culture, such as the fox or Torii shrine gates.

Beyond words but accessible to all, Nakamura’s work is able to both reinvent and pay homage to a Japan built on pop culture.