all images courtesy the artist

From afar, Yuta Okuda‘s artwork can resemble pressed flowers. But come closer and the blossoming bouquets reveal themselves to be something much more complex with an ambiguity that shifts between realism and the abstract. The Japanese artist uses blotches of acrylic paint, which he then combines with miniscule, delicate pen drawings to create petals and blossoms within each other.

Originally from Inuyama, a city in central Japan, Okuda studied fashion design in his home country and then England. After a stint at Japanese fashion label Takeo Kikuchi, the artist went off on his own and began creating highly-detailed, meticulously calculated pigment ink illustrations of animals, bugs and flowers.

His more colorful flower bouquets represent a pivot in direction that comes from an unlikely place: the global pandemic. The coronavirus and its effects on society caused the artist to realize that “the things he had taken for granted were extraordinary events all along.” His newest collection of flower bouquets, aptly titled “with gratitude,” is currently on display at the NYC gallery Mizuma & Kips. It’s on view through November 7, 2021. You can also keep up with the artist on Instagram.