Last weekend, I made it down to Tokyo Big Site for Design Vesta Vol. 27.
The Festa (festival) is a twice annual art and design event where artists can set up booths to display, promote, or sell their art. Painters, sculptors, musicians, and every other stripe of artist imaginable are all represented in the mess of several thousand exhibitors.
The quality varies, of course, and while there is a lot of talent evident, style choices seem to be a bit limited; many of the younger artists' work were indistinguishable from their neighboring artists' work. Bright colors and abstract expressionism seemed to outweigh any sort of representational work by 10 to 1, and while that is not a bad thing, it did contribute to the feeling of everything looking like everything else.
However, there were a few artists that I noticed (read bought prints from):
Kaoru Kamui – Kamui works in digital art and has been at it for the three years or so since she graduated from university with a degree in graphic design.
Yoshida Suzuka – Yoshida does beautiful watercolor and acrylic paintings of small, quiet scenes.
Taishi Douchin – Douchin does small, fun illustrations with marker and pen on poster boards. Unfortunately, he does not have much available yet, but he is hoping to get a book made soon.
Ko-Hey Harada – Ko-hey has two series of posters out, The Jokers, a group of rock and roll inspired images, and the Marshmallow Kings, a lighter, more romantic set of images.
U-suke – U-suke has created a fun character called Chonmage Kacho (Chonmage is the top knot that samurai warriors wore, and Kacho means president of a company.) There is a book and DVD available collecting the best images featuring the character.
Hotanism – I'm not actually sure of the designer's name. The person at the booth was very shy and would not speak to me. But the website is up and has some interesting stuff on it. I was most interested in Black Rabbit.
Kei Gallery – Again, I don't know who the designer is; the booth was unmanned when I found it. But I love the Chess figures and should they ever market an affordable set, I will but it.
And that was the best I saw. If you have a chance, and if you're a fan of new and independent art, I recommend you check out the Festa.