The artist Shinji Ogawa draws incredibly detailed and accurate representations of cities, buildings, landscapes, and people. His drawings may look like old photographs, they may even look like photo-shopped images, but they are in fact illustrations rendered in pencil and ink.
Ogawa’s intention is not to show how technically brilliant he is an artist but to create an alternate reality where well-known landmarks are often duplicated, replaced, or substituted with other buildings to create “a parallel universe.”
“In these works, identical objects are repeated many times, which never happens in reality,” he says. “It’s like a young person who will never meet himself when he’s older and that’s a paradox. It is forbidden for identical objects to exist and if they do the world of singularities that God created for his own game will be finished. I call this series Perfect World because such perfection duality is a paradox.”
Ogawa’s work suggests the idea that what we see is only one small aspect of reality, one “layer” of what is visible.
“One day I visited Shinshu district in Japan’s Nagano prefecture and the reality of the landscape overwhelmed me,” says Ogawa. “When I stood in a place surrounded by two mountains, I lost myself because there was too much information. The landscape consists of many layers and our perception of the landscape changes in unpredictable ways all the time. The landscape has no limit.”
Ogawa was born in Yamaguchi, Japan, in 1959. He studied art at the Mie University, graduating in 1983. Since then, he has exhibited his distinctive drawings in galleries and museums across Japan and Europe. He describes his work as “meta aesthetic” by which he hopes the viewer will “recognize that there are many tiny, mysterious matters in ordinary life and people can make themselves sublime by paying attention to them.”
See more Ogawa’s work here.
See more of Ogawa’s incredible work, after the jump…