The Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced the concept of multiverse in its films this year. The upcoming “ANIMAMIX 2022” exhibition at ESLITE GALLERY in August is an attempt to bring viewers an aesthetic feast of comics through the lens of the multiverse. The nine participating artists from Taiwan and Japan include Cowper WANG, Chen-Dao LEE, Abei LIU, Sangna Take, Poppy Purrs Factory, LIU Wen Hao, Jo-Kuang, Hiroyuki MATSUURA, and Hiroyuki MORI. Through their pen or brush strokes, they share their two-dimensional worlds for everyone to explore their unique take on the cosmos.
- Exhibition Period：6 August - 27 August 2022
- Address：ESLITE GALLERY ∣ B1, No. 88, Yanchang Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110055, Taiwan
MASK BOY, the first character created by Abei LIU, becomes a living entity of many faces by donning different masks. Meanwhile, the emergence of HUA HUA has given even more possibilities for MASK FAM. His COMIC BOOK SERIES inherits the style of American comics, where LIU adeptly uses simple lines to illustrate the manga-like scenes with a cool color tone but a warm narrative. In the HUA HUA GARDEN COLOR SERIES, HUA HUA changes into colorful clothes and takes center stage. Six HUA HUAs in different sizes, colors and expressions are arranged together to present a colorful pluralistic garden. The Photobomb series is an extension of LIU’s experimentation with materials. He uses needle and thread embroidery to “photobomb” the mask of MASK BOY on the faces of characters in various paper promotional materials—kind of like V in V for Vendetta but with a humorous twist.
Cowper WANG, who just won the Golden Melody Award for Best Music Video last year, is a talented new media artist. The multi-hyphenate is also an avid painter who seems to traverse between two parallel worlds. Fascinated by the special effects in animation, he tries to recreate a screen’s RBG color and light effect by choosing to work with fluorescent paints. The fantasy creatures on the canvas are draped in trendy and digital symbols, colorful and magnificent, like looking through a kaleidoscope.
Chen-Dao LEE’s MegaSanyu series depicts Sanyu’s nude female paintings transformed into different anime characters, creating a multiverse of Sanyu’s nudes. He ingeniously appropriates two completely different visual vocabularies to create a sense of conflict between classical versus modern and classic versus trendy. A keen observer of pop culture, he draws on familiar icons in anime and video games and hides them like Easter eggs in his works. The process of finding these Easter eggs is akin to an exchange of vocabulary across generations.
On the other hand, Poppy Purrs Factory’s depiction of women are presented in an entirely different look. Having lived in Japan for many years, she draws girls that are somewhat erotic and fleshy, as she’s deeply influenced by Japanese boy manga. The cutesy beast girls with short horns and canine teeth are a departure from reality yet still leave room for imagination. In contrast to most comics which tend to show women as slender with a disproportionate bust, Poppy Purrs Factor portrays them in a different voluptuous, plump or muscular image, conveying that women’s self-confidence can come from the autonomy over their own bodies.
Sangna Take’s creative style hovers between innocence and sinister, and his works offer a glimpse into the changing lives of gen-z boys. He playfully mixes fashion with video games: Pokémon can be the focus of Bottega Veneta’s season, with characters in mix and match suit and sporting a pompadour. His drawing moves in between lyrical and erotic. Using pure color palettes and refreshing artistic style, he creates like an adult with a delightful sense of childlike wonder. His works not only reveal his belief in taste but also a pure and laid-back attitude towards life.
Japanese artist Hiroyuki MORI makes modern wrestlers travel back in time to ancient Japan. The clouds commonly seen in his drawings are derived from the “Golden Clouds” elements in traditional Japanese Kano school paintings. MORI’s lines are strongly descriptive. He incorporates his favorite wrestling characters into the golden clouds and stacks colors to present the layers of the characters in fun folk-like scenes.
Hiroyuki MATSUURA has not stopped creating during the pandemic, as he believes that comics and anime are the common language of our time and he intends to maintain a dialogue with the world through his creations. This year, his silkscreen work Little Red Hood (silkscreen) is featured—a young girl wearing a red hoodie on a winter’s day. His artistry articulates a delicate look that is reminiscent of a modern version of Little Red Riding Hood.
LIU Wen Hao and Jo-Kuang are two new-generation creators. LIU’s drawing style is wild and uninhibited. His fascination with the morphing transformation in anime characters leads him to redefine the classic female character Sailor Moon with his unique drawing style. Jo-Kuang, a fan of mystery novels and Cthulhu Mythos and an aficionado who likes to observe ancient creatures in museums, extracts dark elements from them to create works shrouded in mystique.
These nine artists have each created their own mini-universes, and their many characters travel the multi-verse. This August, visit ESLITE GALLERY to experience and verse-jump through these artists’ aesthetic narratives.