WAVE Currents in Japanese Graphic Art

WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts

WAVE Currents in Japanese Graphic Art

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Explore the vibrant diversity of Japanese graphic arts in this bold exhibition which bridges the worlds of fine art, commercial illustration and counterculture.

The work of a selection of 60 Japanese artists is presented, with late 20th-century innovators Tanaami Keiichi and Yumura Teruhiko featured alongside a number of emerging artists being exhibited for the first time in the UK.

Graphic arts featured in the exhibition include elements of pop art, surrealism and illustration, as well as the concept of heta-uma, which translates as ‘bad, but good’, and refers to apparently unskilled art which reveals greater merit upon close inspection. Emerging in the underground manga magazine GARO in the 1970s, heta-uma challenges our perspective of what is ‘ugly’ or ‘beautiful’ and our definitions of art itself.

Variety and anarchy are ever-present in WAVE, with Jenny kaori’s bold, punky depictions of girlhood juxtaposed against Yukishita Mayu’s brooding photorealist portraits and husband and wife team tupera tupera’s delightful children’s book illustration.

Inspired by an annual exhibition in Tokyo of the same name, and curated by artists Hiro Sugiyama and Takahashi Kintarō, WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts presents a rare opportunity to experience the diversity of Japanese illustration and graphic arts in one place outside Japan.

Read more about all the artists featured in the exhibition.

Selected artwork from WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts

Exhibition trailer

Watch a trailer for the exhibition WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts.

Booking tickets

Booking a free ticket is not essential, but is recommended in order to guarantee entry to the exhibition at your chosen time. 

2–8 Oct Book now
9–15 Oct Book now
16–22 Oct Book now

Short talks (15-30 minutes) about select pieces of artwork featured in WAVE are taking place throughout the exhibition. See here for dates and more information.

Guests are advised that all bags (except small shoulder bags) must be stored in the cloakroom prior to entering the exhibition.

Assistance dogs only are permitted in the Gallery.  (Small, well-behaved dogs are permitted on the Ground Floor of Japan House London.)