Debuting in the art scene with no formal art training, Chiho Aoshima’s work transcends traditional techniques of representation. Aoshima uses computer software to create beautiful and erotic worlds of ghosts, demons, schoolgirls, and exquisite natural landscapes. Her work is printable on any surface; from canvas bags to giant wallpaper installations. “My work feels like strands of my thoughts that have flown around the universe before coming back to materialize,” Aoshima states.
Aoshima’s work has garnered international renown with a number of high profile projects. She collaborated with Issey Miyake in 2003, with her artwork featured in the spring/summer collection. In 2004, she was invited to participate in the 54th Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, where she unveiled her largest wallpaper piece to date, measuring 106 feet (32.5m ) in length by 15 feet (4.8m ) in height. In May 2005, as part of the Little Boy project, her ecologically-themed “City Glow” and “Paradise” series covered ad spaces throughout the Union Square subway station in New York, greeting commuters as they passed. In a solo show in 2005, Aoshima presented both her first sculptural work and a 5-screen 7-minute animation piece.
With a mastery of computer technology and a vocabulary of images drawn from Japanese comics and animation, the Tokyo artist Chiho Aoshima creates fantasy worlds in which hybridized creatures are participants in the composition's narrative as well as elements in a decorative scheme.
Magma Spirit Explodes. Tsunami Is Dreadful, a mural that spans a 40-foot wall, is a narrative of almost cinematic scope and complexity. Nature and humanity wreak havoc in myriad ways, from tidal waves to fiery conflagrations and war. These disasters, however, have been carefully choreographed; bright flames to the left of the composition give way in effortless transition to volcanic puffs of smoke that are in turn transformed into the blue-green expanse of a tsunami.
At the center of the mural, a giantess presides; she displays the round-eyed prettiness and flowing hair of a stereotypical animé ingénue. Belching smoke and snorting flames, arms and hair tendrils flailing wildly, she is soul and mistress of the mayhem, alluringly beautiful yet terrible in her anger.