Interview: Internationally Popular Japanese Artist Chocomoo Talks About Upcoming Harajuku Exhibition

23.January.2020 | SPOT

A huge exhibition of Chocomoo’s artwork is set to adorn WITH HARAJUKU HALL from August 20 to September 28 this year for “Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU.”

Chocomoo is a Japanese artist born and bred in Kyoto. Her work is known for its originality and pop style which she draws in black and white. Her work has been used for clothing and apparel brands, for music artists, and for many other special collaborations with other companies. She is active internationally and draws huge popularity with Japanese women between the ages of 10-20. We have translated an interview with her which was just released.

 

Chocomoo Interview

 

“I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a kid. I’d draw in notebooks, sketchbooks. When I went to New York for the first time, too, I kept a sketch diary and would draw in the park. I was later asked by a guy who managed a gallery if I’d put my work on at his site.”

 

It was there at that gallery exhibiting several of her works that the first buyer came by.

“I sold my first piece of art. A piece of art drawn by an ‘ordinary person,’ not someone who was an active artist. It was about 30 dollars, if I recall, but I was super happy.”

 

New York helped pave the way for Chocomoo to begin her first steps towards becoming an illustrator.

 

She would post her art on her blog and social media, which was seen by singers and songwriters who got in touch with her. She penned artwork for their tour merchandise, album covers, and more. Recently, she collaborated with Italian car brand FIAT. They released 100 limited edition cars with her art on it. Japanese convenience store FamilyMart even sold umbrellas with Chocomoo’s illustrations on them. The reach of her work has no limits.

 

“When I create a piece, I incorporate a lot of positive words into it in the hopes that it lifts people up.”

One distinct aspect of Chocomoo’s art is the black and white monotone colouring. When asked why she draws in this way, she said: “I did calligraphy from elementary school to high school and was captivated by how we would write in black. When using black ink, it has a matte look to it, and when using black paint, it’s got a glossiness. I think that’s part of the reason why I do it.”

 

This will be Chocomoo’s biggest exhibition. She is currently working on new material and looking into the details of the exhibition. Speaking about it, she said: “I want to try evolving in a way that’s me. I’m aiming to stimulate the people who come to see my work in a different kind of way.”

She also commented on the ‘OUR SECRET PARTY’ part of the exhibition title. “It’s an exhibition of my work, but I want everyone to enjoy it like they would a party. There’s also new things to be discovered which you won’t no about unless you visit, so I put ‘secret’ in there.”

 

Chocomoo was asked to give a comment on her future plans and goals. She said, with a smile: “I want to steadily keep doing what I’m best at without changing what I already have, but I also want my work to reach lots of children too. I’d be happy for them to colour in my work, and I want to challenge myself to making some kind of video format aimed at kids. After that, since I’ve already painted a car, I want to go bigger and paint an aeroplane!”

 

Interview/Original Text: Naho Sotome (五月女菜穂)

Photos: 大黒屋 Ryan 尚保

English Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

As Chocomoo looks to expand her portfolio and reach, we look forward to seeing what she has in store for her exhibition in Harajuku.

 

©2020 Chocomoo

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    © 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. SP610376

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    © 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. SP610376

    © 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. SP610376

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    19th century garment from the Edo and Meiji periods

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    ©Inio Asano – taken from TP

    ©Shinichi Ishizuka – taken from Tokyo Sound

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    ©Sumito Oowara – taken from East East

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    Atsuhi Ito | Comment

    “The inside of Bunkamura is decorated with fictitious Paris artwork with life-size illustrations on the walls, columns, elevator and elsewhere. We’re living in a time right now where we can’t just freely go abroad, so I hope with this people can find something nostalgic about Paris, snap some photos, and feel like they’re on a fun trip.”
    パリの街並みを感じることができるアートワークやイベントをチェックしてみては?

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