Tenmyouya Hisashi

Tenmyouya Hisashi
Born (1966-02-10) February 10, 1966
Saitama prefecture, Greater Tokyo Area,  Japan
Known for Contemporary art
Movement Neo-Nihonga, BASARA

Tenmyouya Hisashi (天明屋尚, born 1966 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese contemporary artist.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

He supposed his unique Japanese painting "Neo-Nihonga" which revives Japanese traditional paintings as a contemporary art. And in 2000 he also created his new style "Butouha" which shows the resistant attitude for authoritative art system through his paintings. He currently lives and works in Saitama, Japan and is represented by the Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo.[8]

In 2010 he proposed a new Japanese art scheme named "BASARA" which is extravagant and extraordinary and embodies a Samurai aesthetic like "Basara" in Nanboku dynasty era and "Kabuki-mono" in the end of Sengoku era.[9]

Neo Nihonga (Neo Japanese-style painting)

"Neo Japanese-style painting" is an art concept, founded by Tenmyouya Hisashi in 2001. It is an antithesis to a modern Japanese-style painting. He thinks a modern Japanese-style painting whose role as an opposite concept of a modern Western-style painting ended sticks to use a traditional painting materials such as mineral pigments, glue and ink. On the other hand, Neo Japanese-style painting is a new one, using a new material like acrylic paint etc. Also it refers some features of Japanese art such as a traditional Japanese line as well as its decorative, symbolic and playful ones. As for subjects, it intends to quote a Japanese traditional essence and express real Japanese contemporary art. Neo Japanese-style painting is a suggestion, suspecting the concept of "modern Japanese-style painting" which was made and twisted artificially in Meiji age. And it offers another possibility for a Japanese contemporary art history. Moreover, in Neo Japanese-style painting, classic Japanese paintings and styles before Meiji age are respected and modernized. In short, Neo Japanese-style painting takes over spirits of Ukiyo-e and the other Japanese classic painting and develop them.[10]


"Basara" is an art concept suggested by Tenmyouya Hisashi in 2010. The term "Basara" refers the family of beauty that with innovative unprecedented beauty, including the basara of the Nanbokucho Period, the kabukimono of the end of the Warring States Period, the ukiyoeshi of the end of the Edo period and Japanese recent youth culture with bad and decorative tastes. He regard the culture stands on the opposite end of the spectrum from wabi sabi and is incompatible with Otaku culture. Also he aims that such an aspect connects Japanese culture and history more directly to make an original Japanese art story. As for "Basara", deliberately he avoids too introvert (he thinks of it as one of weakness of Japanese art) and often quotes Japanese historical elements. Indeed, "Basara" covers wide range, ancient culture, samurai culture and recent youth culture in Japan. Especially "Basara" focuses on street culture or samurai culture in the end of the Warring States Period or the end of the Edo period which has been estimated low for a long time. Avant-garde artist Taro Okamoto once separated Japanese art into the two categories of "Yayoi-like" art characterized by grace and delicate features, and "Jomon-like" art characterized by dynamic and innovative features. The term "Basara" is an adopted and developed version of Taro's concept of "Jomon-like" art, which is excessive in beauty yet innovative. Implicitly he criticizes a conservative attitude which just receives an established value blindly and avoids taking a risk for a new unique things. He published an art book "BASARA Japanese art theory crossing borders: from Jomon pottery to decorated trucks", which has more details with affluent photos and Japanese and English texts.[11]

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Selected Group Exhibitions


Public collections



External links

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