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Today, we would like to introduce one of the finest young artist in Japan, Daisuke Ichiba.

Born in 1963, Ichiba has been creating enormous amount of drawings, self-published those in booklets.
 His work is sold in specialized places, and he has gained many enthusiastic fans here in Japan.

As you might know, the Japanese manga and animation culture has been well known outside of the country these days.
That, so-called "Otaku" culture, has also influenced lots of Japanese young artists as well.
 Ichiba, with no exception, is one of those who grew up in the golden age of Manga era,
and you can see in some of his artistic expressions as the manga style that he watched in his childhood.

His art shouldn't be seen on the wall, one by one. 
The way we should see his work is to see it as a flow of drawings from a booklet.
 A mutation of manga, that is. However, each drawing has the strongest lines that overwhelm its audience, and those lines came from his strong passions.
I would say that his artistic expression is genuinely original from that point of view, beyond that techniques or skills of expression are concerned.

The world of Ichiba's art comes from the cultural climate of this present Japan, without a doubt.
 However, that unique expression of Ichiba's work has been reached at the world class level, as we consider,
by the strength of his spiritual energy and the trained technique.

Daisuke Ichiba 

At the age of 4-5, he made little comic books held together with staples. 
Then, during primary school, he drew parodies of popular comics, depicting his weaker classmates humiliated and mistreated. 
Passed around the class, the comics earned him respect and attention, which he kept seeking by forming a funk band in high school, giving up on drawing. 
More than the music itself, he admits, he enjoyed being on stage and performing in front of an audience. 
As the other band members' schedule made it impossible to rehearse together, they inevitably split up,
and Ichiba starts looking for an activity that requires no one's intervention but his own.

So he goes back to drawing manga for practical, rather than aesthetic, reasons. 
This is one of the many ways for him to let out an arcane part of himself that he strives to express by any means: 
a mix of personal obsessions and views on society, lucid reflections and distractions. 
Women almost always play the leading part, a fixation linked to Ichiba's loss of his mother at the age of 8.

Influenced by George Akiyama and DADAISM, Ichiba's style blends Indian ink, collage, fine-spun volutes and furious brushing in willfully abstruse stories. 
From the world-ruling mutant frog to the one-armed girl singing for the pleasure of demons who squash the dead in hell's Pond of Blood, 
Ichiba's world sprawls in more than 20 graphic novels and art books (the borderline between the two is often pretty thin)
where a very peculiar sense of humor emerges out of striking images of madness, pain and sex.

The reader is horsed around from nightmarish scenes to absurd dialogues, 
and when the story doesn't end in a rather clichéd seppuku (which Ichiba completely assumes), 
when a page depicting the end of times isn't all smeared up in lazy brushes of ink, 
books end in a disarmingly obscure fashion discouraging any attempt of analysis and literal interpretations. 
The story obeys a graphic logic as much as a narrative logic.
"The organic motives and patterns of characters [kanji] I draw may render my works disturbing
but usually they just start off as lines drawn without much afterthought in empty spaces of a page,
like writing exercises, and then they turn into motives without me noticing. However dispensable those may be, 
sometimes I feel they play a very important part in the story. I tend to be extremely attracted to what's useless or incomprehensible".

Mizue Ezumi, the only recurring character in Ichiba's works, first appeared in 1997. He sees her as his alter ego, his mother, his daughter. 
A patch on her left eye hides a repugnant deformity symbolizing mankind's inevitably tainted heart. 
"It's like crap, whether we like it or not there's something rotten inside us. In this world beautiful landscapes coexist with scenes of awful violence. 
Of course those are sick and evil, but that doesn't mean we must separate them from the rest and not show them. 
Whenever I tend to come close to Beauty I'm overcome by an irresistible urge to bring in the page grotesque elements and meaningless things to restore balance.
I strive to draw with a right balance between dispassion and subjectivity, 
but when one looks at the finished work it seems people notice the grotesque facet above all and lose sight of my original intention."

(Aurélien Estager) Text © 2007 Sonore

"interview 2011" (ITALY:Alila mag, a online magazine)

1-What do you like most about Asia?
    *The food. And, the life on the floor as on the tatami-mat.

2-Is your actual job the one you dreamed about when you were a child?
    *No. I'd never dreamed about any job.

3-Do the things you create usually turn out the way you expect them to in the beginning?
    *Usually I roughcast first. And then my brush create its own lines automatically. I'm there to navigate.

4-Where does the inspiration for your illustrations come from?
    *From my brain which possesses the histories woven by mankind from all-time. I only help slowly with my hands, having nothing in my mind.
5-Who are your favourite artists?
    *I don't have one but I was inspired a lot by the mind of Dadaism (yet the works aren't especially intriguing, to be honest).

6-What are you working on at the moment? What are you enjoying most about it?
    *I'm working on my next exhibition in Shibuya, Tokyo in July. Drawing for me it's not something enjoyable.It's exactly like breathing or eating.

7-What is the achievement you are most proud of?
    *The next thing starts immediately after you achieved something. So I don't know what the state of "achievement" is.

8-What is your next step?
    *There is no next step. I am just honest to be myself and draw, draw and draw...

9-What do you think makes you special?
    *Is myself special? (laugh)

10-Do you have a favourite item of clothing? Can you tell us something curious about it?
    *I like flip-flaps or Japanese sandals. I like to go barefoot. I always wish that all the streets were covered with lawn!

"Daisuke Ichiba, the genuinly unique and creative artist"
by Humuhiko Hoso( an art critic)

■Being Genuinly Unique and Creative

Say, you met a movie or a song, liked it very much, and at the same time
people around you also like it, then there is a big chance of possibility
that we are not talking about something that is genuinly unique and
original. In other words, we cannot get to like or to understand something
when there is no standard of evaluation and no room for acceptance. However,
if the novelty is spurb and excellent, it leads itself to making the soil to
be accepted. To put it concrete, our sensitivity and ability to think needs
some time to grow.
 Movies and music, that show up in front of us all of sudden and get
evaluated and consumed in very short time, are the very same as sodas and
roller coasters. They only give you an instant pleasure and humbly stimulate
the worn out sensitivity. It's a game with a safety warranty that the youth
enjoy and consume.
Nobody wants genuineness, because we need a good amount of time and
strength to face it and need to carry the risk that you might get hurt when
you cannot be unrelated with it. Even so, Ichiba keeps on spawning his
creations for you, who still want to believe that there are genuinely unique
and original lurking in somewhere in this world.

■The Genre Called "Daisuke Ichiba"

Daisuke Ichiba is genuine. There is a concrete reason for it. He has an
artisticly intrinsic necessity in his productivity. Therefore, he has the
freedom in his expressions, not to be tied up by any external factors and
not to be caught by any existing genre. Each of his works is like an
illustration, like a manga(a comic), like a poem, like a tanka, or like an
essay. He also is a musician and calls himself "Bijin-gaka( a beauty
painter)". With a glance, you might get an intense impression on his work.
You might not be able to find a way to react to it. There is no way for his
works to be merchandise since they cannot be in any category. But so what?!
All we
have to do is to receive and accept the genre called "Daisuke Ichiba".
If you look at his works with being particular about preconceived forms of
art, what you might see would be an nosesical indecency. From the viewpoint
of Ichiba's artistic necessity, however, any of the lines, words, and
materials in his works are composed with the very elaboration and accuracy.
And thats what we call art! It is important to keep the first strong
impression that you feel from his works in any ways. Do not try to
comprehend them but get yourself to be trifled with Ichiba's technique as an
artist and get moved. Your attitude to the reality should be changed alittle
when you close his work because Ichiba illuminates the reality on his works,
in the way that nobody has ever tried.
His work certainly nails down the essence of things. Thats the reason why
his work gives a very strong impression on its audience's mind, no matter
how it looks on the surface.

■Happiness in the Consistency of "Themes" and "Lines"

An illustrated story has a story first, then there are pictures along the
story so that they can help your imagination expand and get into the world
of the work.
A comic, as well, has the system of that uniqueness of frame arrangement,
balloons and combination of stage directions make the flow of the story. The
author and the audience have that procedure in common tacitly -(in fact, it
is hard for one who usually dont read comics to catch up with a story in a
At that point, you might get a little lost to find a way to enjoy his works
because what Ichiba focuses on as his art works is different from what comic
artists focus on. Ichiba represents to his audience what he wants to express
in the state-of-righ-before putting it in the comic genre. Its
like a winery man selling a bottle of imcompleted wine with a memo which
says a list of the necessary tools and ingredients for the completion. The
customer then can have much more vivid experience of wine than just tasting
Though, Ichiba never stays only in the avant-garde styl but still moves on
and creates this peculiar world by the centripetal force that his own unique
drawing lines produce. If you want to find something like consitency in
stories, you might want to look at the strength of those "lines" with which
those words and drawings in his works are composed. Enjoying the "lines" in
his works is pretty much same as following a story in a book and a comic.
In Ichiba's works, there is a theme of "Beauty or Ugliness", which he
consider as "faces=flesh". Also you can see him being very particular about
lines and having the fetishism to printed materials in that he uses lots of
cut-ups and colleges monomaniacly. The thing is that all of those factors
overlap one another. It is rare that a theme and the expression accord in
comics. What it boils down to is that, in Ichiba's art, those
lines themselves tell a theme, not the figures or scenes that are drawn by
the unique lines.
Those lines drawn by Ichiba have the power of an appeal to us, sensuously
and physiologically. The female faces repeatedly drawn resounds like layers
of musical rythms(beats). And for the sentences that occupy many pages in
his works, we'd rather enjoy the combination of words and expression of
drawn letters than understand the content of sentenses.

■Exploring the Avant-Garde with a Pen

Ichiba' works has approached to comic expressions for some time now, but in
his most recent work, "Kohal", he uses a well-honed lines with perfect
freedom, brims over with images and emotions and creates the very own world.
In there, the fusion of humans and animals creates a mysterious and deeply
spiritual world. Im very certain that Ichiba has been and will be creating
his own unique works hereafter, absorbing every possible techniques and
styles. He won't lose the brilliance of his unique creativity as long as he
keeps on grabbing the real nature of things by smelling them out








市場大介 ~真に個性的で創造的な作家~










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