All images courtesy of Nakamura Ippan | used with permission
Nakamura Ippan, a non-binary artist known for their web comic series ‘Jimocoro‘ and ‘Minna no Gohan‘, held their first solo exhibition last month in Tokyo. Art enthusiasts had the opportunity to witness Nakamura’s artistic brilliance firsthand at their exhibition titled ‘Love’, held at HB Gallery in Omotesando.
It was a captivating display of Nakamura’s diverse artwork, featuring landscapes through his insight, spotted with his signature dog and giraffe characters. The collection included a wide range of mediums, from analogue illustrations and drawings to line drawings and manga manuscripts, showcasing Nakamura’s artistic versatility.
Visitors also had the chance to purchase Nakamura’s book, “Wasuretakunai Fūkei” (Landscape I Don’t Want to Forget), at the exhibition. It comprises Nakamura’s first collection of lyrical depictions of casual townscapes and daily events.
It feels like time slows down in the scenes, because of the unique lines they are sketched in. It depicts mainly client works such as book illustrations and magazine covers, manga works and originals right from their early days.
An interview with the artist reveals the secrets of their production. Its a collection that makes you want to look back over and over again and immerse yourself in the scene.
As described by Nakamura, the illustration above on left is inspired from a quiet back street near a closed public bath called Chiyo-no-Yu in Sangenjaya, Tokyo. It has a Thai restaurant with lots of planters. The street lamps, utility poles, and power lines are all covered in Ivy-like plants. In the summer, the leaves grow dense, creating a beautiful green curtain. Nakamura loves walking there and has painted this scene many times.
The one on right is in Misaki, a small port town in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. There’s a special staircase that the illustrator loves. It’s hidden in a quiet back alley which Ippan visits when they want to be near the sea. “Sometimes, if lucky, I might even spot a cat enjoying the sun. It was very peaceful here before the construction started on the other side of the fence. I would sit on the stairs and relax,” says the artist.
These illustrations seem like physical manifestations of his vision of the surroundings and extension of his calm personality. You can see more of Nakamura’s work on their website or keep up with them on Twitter or Instagram.