Art
6,905 Hypes 0 Comments

Red Bull Curates Protégés x HYPEBEAST Presents Pen & Paper with Toshikazu Nozaka

Beginning as a professional skateboarder, Toshikazu Nozaka’s work naturally led him to

Beginning as a professional skateboarder, Toshikazu Nozaka’s work naturally led him to collaborations with skate brands, laying the foundation on which he would later build a career as a professional artist and tattoo artist. Drawing from a strong connection with his cultural and artistic heritage, Nozaka works primarily with traditional materials such as a simple brush and ink, and his inspirations reach far back to artists from the Edo and Meiji periods who were known for their stylized Ukiyo-e paintings and woodblock prints.

In this edition of Pen & Paper presented by Red Bull Curates Protege & HYPEBEAST, Nozaka comments on the local art scene in Tokyo as well as the life of a professional artist in Japan.


Nozaka’s Start

How did you get into your line of work?

I’ve been having independent art-shows for 10 years and gradually gained a following. Before I started working as an artist, I was skating as a professional and that connection led me to a job working with brands. Thankfully, a lot of people came from the start so things went really well.

Who are some of the people that have had an impact on you when pursuing art?

I am shocked by some of Japanese artists from Edo to Meiji era (approx. 1600 to 1900) such as Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Yoshitoshi Tsukioka and Kyosai Kawanabe. They are all famous for their original Ukiyo-e, a Japanese traditional art style. I am also influenced by skateboarders from the ’80s.

How is the city’s art scene and how has it changed since you started?

Tokyo’s art scene has totally changed since I had my first solo exhibition 10 years ago. There are a lot more galleries now and a lot more people who visit and purchase art. It’s nice that more young artists are holding exhibitions every week, but I still think that it’s only scratched the surface and that art isn’t yet firmly rooted enough in peoples’ lives. It’s still hard to make a living as an artist in this country, so you’ll have to look at more options outside of Japan. You need to have a strong mentality and passion about what you are doing to continue being an artist.

“You need to have a strong mentality and passion about what you are doing to continue being an artist.”

Toshikazu Nozaka talks about Tokyo’s art scene and what it takes to be an artist there


Style, Interests and the Future

How would you explain your style of work? What usually goes through your head when starting a new piece of work?

The root of my work will always rest with Japanese culture and the great painters of the past whom I have a lot of respect for. Not sure whether you can feel that through my work, but it’s always on my mind. I mainly use a brush for most of my work. Even when using acrylics, I use lots of water and draw perpendicular to the ground. That comes from the style of writing or a Japanese painting. When producing a new work, I think carefully to make sure it does not become a copy of a great past painter. While you might think you’re original, there’s a lot of times where you notice the different images you pick up and use in your work along the way. One other thing I really care about is composition that includes blank space.

Outside of art, what are your other interests?

Skateboarding, my family life and the future of the Earth.

What are your favorite mediums to work on?

Water, Japanese sumi ink and acrylics on paper.

What are your favorite tools to use?

Japanese-made colors, a shading brush and an inkstone. I also like using an INDEPENDENT base plate and ink cup together.

Future plans?

I would like to build a housing project for skaters and artists. I’m also planning to attend some art exhibitions and also go on some skate trips this year.

“I always respect where I come from. Being Japanese, I want to express Japanese culture and its traditional art style.”

Toshikazu Nozaka

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Daniel Arsham "Kick the Tires and Light the Fires" @ OHWOW Gallery
Art

Daniel Arsham "Kick the Tires and Light the Fires" @ OHWOW Gallery

Artist Daniel Arsham will soon present an exhibition of new works at LA’s OHWOW

Mario Testino's "Perfect Ten" Editorial featuring Jourdan Dunn, Karlie Kloss and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Art

Mario Testino's "Perfect Ten" Editorial featuring Jourdan Dunn, Karlie Kloss and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Continuing his run of high-profile shoots this year, Mario Testino has assembled a super-team of

Wolfgang Beltracchi – The World's Premier Art Forger?
Art

Wolfgang Beltracchi – The World's Premier Art Forger?

Wolfgang Beltracci’s story is that of a true hustler. From the 1990s through 2011, Beltracci and

Tofer Chin Joins Forces with Converse for the Los Angeles CONS Project
Art

Tofer Chin Joins Forces with Converse for the Los Angeles CONS Project

As an encore to the first CONS project in Brooklyn, Converse traveled to the West Coast to roll out

BWGH Magazine 2014 Spring/Summer Issue
Art

BWGH Magazine 2014 Spring/Summer Issue

For its Spring/Summer 2014 issue – the fourth installment of the publication – BWGH decided to pay


Vivienne Westwood Covers The Gentlewoman 2014 Spring/Summer Issue No. 9
Art

Vivienne Westwood Covers The Gentlewoman 2014 Spring/Summer Issue No. 9

For The Gentlewomen’s ninth issue, the bi-annual women’s lifestyle magazine looks to influential

OLOW 2014 Spring/Summer Lookbook Video
Art

OLOW 2014 Spring/Summer Lookbook Video

Headed by Mathieu Sorosina and Valentin Porcher, OLOW produces contemporary casual wear upheld by

Legography by Andrew Whyte
Art

Legography by Andrew Whyte

If you haven’t quite gotten your fix of building brick-inspired eye candy with The Lego Movie,

World Press Photo of the Year 2014
Art

World Press Photo of the Year 2014

With 90,000 entries from 132 countries, the 57th World Press Photo Contest concluded with winning

The Beautiful Processes of Elite Urushi Craftsmen
Art

The Beautiful Processes of Elite Urushi Craftsmen

Though it sounds necessarily foreign, you may have encountered urushi pieces at a fancy restaurant

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Adblock Detected.

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.