[Carefully selected by art collectors] 10 selections of young contemporary Japanese artists

table of contents

young Japanese contemporary artists

Hello everyone. This is GOSUKE, the manager of MONOLiTH, a contemporary art online shopping site.

Nowadays, contemporary art is on the rise. Every day we see art everywhere, not only in museums, but also in train stations, shops, and even on social media.
In this article, the author, who is a fan of art and has set up an art mail-order site and is in charge of its operation, introduces some of the hottest Japanese contemporary artists.

I started an art collection about two years ago and have spent over 2.5 million yen on art. Collection works include Rinyusuke Sano, Backside Works., AZUSA IIDA, and Kotao Tomozawa.

collection of art

By the way, here is the art mail order site MONOLiTH operated by the author.

1. It's not just kaws and Banksy! Young contemporary Japanese artists are hot right now!

A large-scale exhibition was held last year, and many people visited kaws and Banksy. Many of you must have thought that modern art is interesting!

In addition to such famous overseas artists, there are many contemporary artists in Japan. The interesting thing about contemporary art is that there are artists with various concepts and painting styles. Please find your own favorite and try to decorate your home someday!

Let's go!

2. 10 Contemporary Artists Selected by 28-Year-Old Art Collectors

1. Rin Yusuke Sano

Artwork by Rinyusuke Sano Daiki Tsuneda appears! Adidas "FORUM" promotional film released

Rinyusuke Sano is my favorite artist.
Mr. Sano was the reason why I fell in love with contemporary art. The author has a collection of three works by Mr. Sano.

Artwork by Rinyusuke Sano ▲ The collection of Mr. Sano, the author

Mr. Sano, who also drew the jacket photo for the rock band King Gnu's major debut album "sympa". Some of you may have seen it. The author himself saw this jacket and fell in love with contemporary art.

Rinyusuke Sano's King Gnu jacket Sympa -King Gnu 2nd ALBUM-

Sano grew up influenced by cartoons, animation, and manga in his childhood, and artists such as Egon Schiele, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Jackson Pollock in his late teens.

The series of works he is currently developing, called "ZOOM," traces images based on past art history and personal memories, and develops his own experiences accumulated day by day with a unique concept.
Using a variety of tools such as acrylics, crayons, and ballpoint pens, as well as various techniques such as action painting and collage, I put the images in my head onto the canvas.

Artwork by Rinyusuke Sano

Artwork by Rinyusuke Sano

Artwork by Rinyusuke Sano

Look at this powerful work. Is there anyone who can't get heat in their body by looking at this work? No, no.

All of his works are large, with many exceeding 1m x 1m. Since last year, I have set up my own huge atelier, where I continue to create works every day.

Artwork by Rinyusuke Sano

What's more, he was born in 1995 and is only 27 years old to create such a cool work!

In March 2010, he participated in a group exhibition in China, and we are looking forward to his future activities!



KYNE's art work 'KYNE TOKYO 2' @ SAI

Fukuoka-based contemporary artist KYNE.
KYNE, who sparked street art and works with female motifs.
Since the appearance of KYNE, I feel that the number of works with female motifs has increased considerably.

Born in 1988, KYNE studied Japanese painting in college, and started his artist activities around 2006. Around 2010, he established his current style of depicting cool-looking women. His unique interpretation of popular culture in the 1980s has drawn attention both in Japan and abroad.

KYNE's work is characterized by a simple composition that has been stripped of unnecessary expressions as much as possible.

kyne's art work

We are actively collaborating with other brands such as popular singer-songwriter iri, adidas, and Girls Don't Cry.

Kyne and Girls Don't Cry

The works are quite difficult to obtain, and it is the first time in a fierce battle that many applicants gather in lottery sales every time.
Even at auction, the price is several million yen every time, and in 2021, the winning bid exceeds 30 million yen. A coveted piece by art collectors.

kyne's art auction work https://www.sbiartauction.co.jp/

You can read more about the auction in this article!

KYNE is at the forefront of Japanese contemporary art. I would love to get my hands on one someday.


3. Backside works.

Artwork by Backside Works [It may not exist. But she certainly exists (heroine)]

Based on the concept of "heroine", Backside works continues to draw VALIANT GIRLs.

Using various techniques such as painting on canvas, silkscreen, giclee, and stickers, she creates imaginary heroines.

Backsie works. is strongly influenced by subcultures such as anime and manga in the 1980s and 90s, and it makes me feel nostalgic. Like KYNE mentioned above, he is originally from Fukuoka and is currently active mainly in Fukuoka.

Artwork by Backside Works

Artwork by Backside Works

Artwork by Backside Works

Backsie works.'s popularity is not uncommon, and all works are sold by lottery. When I collaborated with Bonsai Hachi, there was a queue at the Splash Mountain level in the morning.

There are many artists who draw girls, but Backsie works. is definitely the most popular among them. And the level of workmanship is very high.

Backsideworks artwork

The works of Mr. Backsie works., which are traded at very high prices even at auctions, will have value not only as a hobby for collections but also as assets. I own only one!

As with Backside works.'s work, art also has an aspect of asset value, and one of the real pleasures of art is finding future popular artists.

Click here for an article about the asset value of art.


4. Buggy

buggy art work

Buggy draws pop and cynical works with portraits of celebrities and politicians who symbolize the times as motifs.

The first time I saw buggy's work was at a certain group exhibition, and I was instantly captivated by his cynical and overwhelming drawing skills. It is irresistible for black jokes and cynical lovers. In addition, there are many large-scale works, and they are powerful, and there is a mysterious charm that will not leave your mind once you see them.

In addition to working on many artworks for fashion magazines such as VOGUE JAPAN and Numero TOKYO, he also collaborates with global brands such as Marc by marc jacobs and Stella McCartney.

buggy art work WATOWA GALLERY | buggy SOLO EXHIBITION "Portraits"

In addition to canvas works, there are many wall arts drawn mainly in Osaka, so please look for them. The art is just as cool as Banksy.

buggy wall art

buggy wall art

Buggy's work is now on sale at MONOLiTH!
Mr. buggy has many fans, and despite the high price of his work, MONOLiTH sells out quickly.



TIDE art work TIDE draws a monochrome world using acrylic paint and spray.
The CAT series with a cat motif is the most famous.

Mr. TIDE was born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1984. In his early twenties, he came across Shigeru Mizuki's work in Australia, where he was living, and started painting on his own.

TIDE's work is drawn according to the rule that "living things are 2D, everything else is 3D", and draws 2D and 3D on one canvas. That's why the cat is painted solid, and on the other hand, the background is drawn very realistically.
Although it is a different technique, it is amazing that it fits perfectly without any discomfort, and the texture of the cushions and curtains in the background is just like the real thing.

TIDE art work

TIDE art work In addition, TIDE's works are very popular and sold out immediately at the time of the solo exhibition. At auctions, it always fetches several million yen, and in the past it has been sold for more than 40 million yen.

It is very popular with collectors and very difficult to obtain, but I would like to display it in my home someday.



Artwork by AZUSA IIDA AZUSA IIDA (Azusa Iida) continues to draw fashionable and stylish women.
AZUSA draws fashion and strong women with tasteful colors and poses. I also have a collection of works.

Artwork by AZUSA IIDA AZUSA was born in Tokyo in 1991. He held his first solo exhibition in 2016, and since then has created many works centered on fashion. In recent years, he has also worked on the main visuals for FASHIONSNAP.COM's fortune-telling content "Sunday 22:00 Fortune-telling", which many of you may have seen.

Artwork by AZUSA IIDA The wonderful thing about AZUSA is not only that he draws fashion coolly, but also his commitment to materials. The first time I saw AZUSA's work was at the solo exhibition "MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL" in 2020. The theme of this solo exhibition was "mirror", and mirrors were used in all the works. All of them are of very high quality, and I decided to purchase the work within 5 minutes of entering the gallery.

Artwork by AZUSA IIDA

Artwork by AZUSA IIDA In addition, at the group exhibition “Denim de Mirai” held at Shinjuku Isetan in April 2022, he brilliantly combined denim with his own worldview.

Artwork by AZUSA IIDA

Recently, we had an exhibition at Tokyu Plaza at the Harajuku intersection and developed a large visual. He is an artist whose future work is very exciting.

Artwork by AZUSA IIDA


7. Kota Tomozawa

Artwork by Kotao Tomozawa Kota Tomozawa paints oil paintings with realistic textures that can be mistaken for photographs.
Kotao is famous for the unforgettable baby swallowed by slime.

Born in Bordeaux, France in 1999, Kotao, who is also an active Tokyo University of the Arts graduate student (as of July 2022). I lived in Paris until I was 5 years old. Since her mother is a manga artist, she has been drawing since she was a baby.
By the way, Kotao is his real name, and the origin of the name is Tao Island (Koh Tao in Thai) in Thailand.

Kotao's work is characterized by his unique portraits that combine slime-like substances with organic motifs centered on people. Once you see it, it has an unforgettable impact.
The power of the oil painting is so wonderful that when I first saw it, I mistakenly thought it was a photograph.

Artwork by Kotao Tomozawa

Artwork by Kotao Tomozawa By the way, the reason why I came up with the term slime is that after I entered Tokyo University of the Arts, I was at a dead end because I couldn't draw as I wanted. . It seems that it became a strong memory and led to the style of slime.

Kotao, a very popular artist whose solo exhibition is sold out immediately, with long lines forming in the morning. I'm sure there will be more opportunities to see it at auctions in the future.
I'm looking forward to his future activities.


8. Yukari Nishi

Artwork by Yukari Nishi Yukari Nishi (Nishi Yukari) is a coexistence of unrest, spookiness, and cuteness.
Mr. Nishi is a captive writer of the world. He might be the artist I want to see the most work of right now!

Nishi was born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1978 and lives in Hyogo Prefecture. After graduating from Kyoto University of Art and Design (currently Kyoto University of the Arts), he studied painting techniques on his own and arrived at his current painting style while making use of the composition techniques and knowledge he had cultivated.

Artwork by Yukari Nishi The unique method of creating his works is to stock materials collected from photographs he has taken, clippings from old magazines, and images on the Internet, create a digital collage of these materials as a rough sketch, and paint them on canvas using acrylic paint. method.

Mr. Nishi's appeal lies in his uniquely chaotic world view and overwhelming power of expression. A chaotic world view where eerieness and cuteness coexist, and the expressive power of realistic textures such as animal hair, wrinkles on clothes, and slime that make up it. Once you see the work, you won't be able to take your eyes off it.

Artwork by Yukari Nishi
Artwork by Yukari Nishi At the large-scale exhibition held in February 2022, all works were sold out on the first day. He is one of the artists whose work is very hard to come by. I also want to buy one someday...



Artwork by OLI OLI creates works with the theme of distorted portraits "WARP".

Born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1992, OLI currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Started artist activities in 2016 as an extension of student graffiti.
In addition to creating canvas works, I also actively participate in live paintings at clubs and other venues.

OLI's representative series "WARP" was inspired by the corona crisis, and the world that had seemed perfect until now suddenly changed. However, change is not necessarily bad, and the new world can be said to be good in its own way. I express it with distortion = WARP. That's why OLI's work is distorted but beautiful. It is produced with a wonderful concept.

Artwork by OLI

Artwork by OLI

Artwork by OLI Also, OLI, who has a wonderful and passionate dream to give dreams to those who aspire to be a painter. Even when wall painting is often done in work clothes, OLI does it with a high price because of the policy of "wall painting is live".

Such OLI looks very flashy, funny, and has the best character. Please talk to us when you are on display!
Here is the video of the interview at MONOLiTH.


OLI's works are now on sale at MONOLiTH!


10. Jodai Watanabe

Artwork by Jodai Watanabe Watanabe Johiro is an artist who uses manga techniques on canvas.
Mr. Jodai worked as a manga assistant for about 10 years, including 8 years as an assistant for the famous JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

My life is burning every day in the fusion of manga and art. The situation is posted daily on Instagram, which is very interesting.
By the way, I started making canvas works from 21, but here is my first canvas work.

Artwork by Jodai Watanabe Is this your first canvas work?!
This work was presented at an event called 100 people 10, which is also a gateway to success for young artists, and was very popular. Dozens of people applied for the lottery.
Then, unexpectedly, the author won the prize, and now I am grateful to have it displayed in my company's office.

Jodai Watanabe has just started his career in art, but the quality of his work is really high, and I can't help but look forward to his future activities.

Jodai Watanabe's work is now on sale at MONOLiTH!


MONOLiTH sells many other works by young contemporary artists!

What do you think of these 10 young contemporary Japanese artists?
Found your favorite artist?

In addition to the artists introduced this time, MONOLiTH handles works by many energetic young contemporary artists. And we are adding more all the time!

Click here for the site
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Whether you are buying art for the first time, or if you already have art but would like to meet new works, please visit MONOLiTH once. There are many works that can only be found here, carefully selected by art collectors.

By the way, if you are worried about how to buy art, please see this article.

Check out this article about art galleries.

Thank you for reading this far.
See you soon!

MONOLiTH Operation ManagerGosuke Onoda