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Jun Oson Navigates Isolation in "D_I_S_T_A_N_C_E" Tokyo Exhibition

Featuring the Japanese illustrator’s playful subjects.

Tokyo’s Diesel Art Gallery is currently hosting the first solo exhibition of Japanese illustrator Jun Oson. Titled “D_I_S_T_A_N_C_E,” the presentation features over 20 new paintings, including shaped canvases, featuring Oson’s colorful cast of humanoid creatures inspired by pop culture cartoons.

While subjects appear comical and playful, Oson’s latest pieces reflect on the mental strain, anxiety and isolation caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “The spread of the new coronavirus made me fearful of this unknown virus, but at the same time, it made me think about the distances between myself and others,” he said. “’We must not get close to others’—I’ve become so conscious of this idea that my heart skips a beat when I watch old movies and see strangers interacting closely with each other. In order to avoid contact with others, new forms of interaction have grown out of this situation, like online meetings and internet streaming.”

Apart from painting, Oson also creates cover designs, book illustrations and product commissions mainly for advertising and animation. He currently draws for NHK ETV’s television show, Ahare! Meisaku-kun and has illustrated a “Tokyo Metro Manners Poster” for the Metro Cultural Foundation.

Check out installation views for “D_I_S_T_A_N_C_E” above. To commemorate the show, Oson and Diesel Art Gallery have released limited-edition merchandise spanning figurines, t-shirts, badges and more. Head to Diesel Art Gallery’s website for more information. The exhibition is on view until February 4, 2021.

Elsewhere in art, Chronicle Books has released a new book spotlighting the provocative illustrations of acclaimed UK-based artist Ralph Steadman.

Diesel Art Gallery
cocoti DIESEL SHIBUYA B1F, 1-23-16,
Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Japan

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