Watercolor artist Hiroki Takeda is known for his vivid and wholesome depictions of cats, dogs and other animals using his signature style of botanicals. But the artist has recently turned his colorful brush to a darker subject matter: anti-war imagery and hopes for peace.

花降る街 (hana furu machi; translation: flowers raining on a town)

For an upcoming solo exhibition Hiroki Takeda has been creating several pieces that have deviated from his typical subject matter of beady-eyed cats and dogs. Working largely with a darker color palette, and sprinkled with color here and there, are war planes, guns and soldiers. The pieces will be showcased along with Takeda’s more typical imagery.

Although not stated explicitly, it’s clear that Takeda has been influenced by recent events in Ukraine. His depictions guns and tanks, all of which have been taken over by nature, are important reminders of our past mistakes.

The artist’s exhibition is on view from April 16 – April 23, 2022 at Tricera Museum in Tokyo. Several of his prints are also available online.

poster for Hiroki Takeda’s upcoming exhibition

this piece is simply titled “no”

命咲く (inochi saku; translation: life blooms)

生物兵器 (seibutsu heiki; translation: biological weapon)