In 2007, I came across Aquirax Uno (AKA as Akira Uno) for the first time. Posters promoting a festival in Azabu-Juban (a neighbourhood in Tokyo) had this big eyes girl and a huge owl sitting right next to her.
Several weeks ago, in the subway station, I saw the same fantastic drawings in a poster promoting a Japanese fashion magazine.
Aquirax Uno was very involved with the Japanese underground art circuit of the 60s and 70s, together with avant-garde artists, designers and manga artists. In the middle of that chaotic climate of postwar Japan, these artists introduced a new visual art through posters, resulting in a very new and shocking media.
Most of these posters were eccentric photos collages mix with calligraphy and traditional iconography. (NOTE: The posters below may contain some disturbing images. Viewer discretion is advised).
The women who inhabited these illustrations are half human and half animal. These figures were grotesque, dark and erotic, creating a perfect mix of dreamlike and surreal images.
It seems that with time, his illustrations have kept the magic but subtlety faded the darkness away. These illustrations decorate the zodiac pages of a Japanese fashion magazine.
More wonderful illustrations from his books…
His works are simply stunning.
Uno has published a long list of books with his amazing works: “Aquirax Uno: Posters 1959-1975”, 少女からの手紙 (“Letter from a girl”), 白猫亭-追憶の多い料理店- (“La Chatte Blanche – A restaurant with much recollection”), 悪魔のりんご (“A devil’s Apple”), 宇野亜喜良 ストカードブック (“Postcard Book”) おおきなひとみ (“Big Pupils”), マイマイとナイナイ (“MaiMai and NaiNai”) and the list goes on.
Almost 80 years old, and Aquirax Uno is still mesmerizing us with his fantastic illustrations. Thank you!
All images are from Aquirax Uno’s book. All credits go to him.
All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!