Makoto Aida

Born 1965 in Niigata, Japan
Lives and works in Kanagawa, Japan

Education: 1989 Tokyo University of the Arts, BFA in painting 1991 Tokyo University of the Arts, MFA in painting (Oil Painting Technique and Material Studio)

Makoto Aida's work blends social critique with a nihilistic humor that is tempered by his respect for the styles he lampoons. Harakiri School Girls combines the fetishistic fashions and nubile bodies of fantasy schoolgirls with the time-honored samurai practice of ritual suicide. Its drawing style alludes to the work of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839--1892), an artist often dismissed as "decadent" because of his violent subject matter, madness, and Western influences. In the battle for urban cultural life, Aida's principal enemy is the gray-suited "salaryman," whose conformism and lack of individual spirit he abhors. The enormous Ash Color Mountains (2009--11) shows the corpses of hundreds of salarymen, each depicted in loving detail, on vast gray tumuli. (from the web article of Japan Society)