by: JC Rodriguez
“I hope that my work can be a power in creating smiles. I want the viewer of my work to feel happiness. That makes me so happy." - Shun Sudo
From Tokyo with love. Artists Shun Sudo has been influenced by pop culture from an early age. From Japanese comic books known as Manga, to American pop artists like KAWS and Warhol. He spent most of his 20s in the US traveling. Combining the Japanese sensibility and American pop influence has bode well for the artist. His work in one word, happy. That's exactly what he wants to hear.
Mixing traditional eastern Asian techniques like Sumi-e with contemporary colors and subjects, turns out to be a beautiful combination. Graphic animation is clearly visible and easy to understand where his early influence comes to play in his work. He blends images with both contemporary urban art style and pays homage to his roots.
We asked the Shun Sudo about his work and the artists he admires that ultimately made him to the artist he is today.
What's your earliest memory of art?
My first memory of art is maybe Manga,. Manga are comics in Japan. I read read these comics every single day. I remember early on reading "Dragon Ball" and "Slam Dunk."
Who inspired you to become an artist?
Big inspiration in my life to be an artist were Taro Okamoto and Kiyoshi Yamashita. They still inspire me
What is your art about?
I want to portray the scenery that plays in my head. That's what I put forward in the work I do. I want to present that and have people see.
Who where some artists that influence your work and you admire?
There are so many to choose from. I get inspiration from so many artists in different ways. Taro Okamoto is a personal favorite. Pablo Picasso is an inspiration, particularly his work on "Guernica" my favorite. I just think it's amazing. Other artists like Koukin Toneyama, Jean-Michele Basquiat, KAWS, Andy Warhol, and Powel Peralta are all influential and artists I admire so much.
How did you develop your style?
It took time to develop my style. My approach was to mix two styles of painting. The first style is the classic brush stokes like Sumi-e painting which is a type of traditional technique that uses black ink. The other was using pop and street culture similar to Manga all mixed into one composition.
What do you want to accomplish with your art?
I hope that my work can be a power in creating smiles. I want the viewer of my work to feel happiness. That makes me so happy.
If you had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with any artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?
It's like to sit down and have a conversation with Taro Okamoto about his work. Also he spoke Japanese. :)
What was the last thing you saw that really inspired you to create?
I last was really inspired when I went to Koujin Toneyama atelier. When I see his work, I am so moved by it. Seeing his work inspires me to create.
What advice do you have for other artists looking to pursue a career in art?
I'm a young artist, I think. I need advice. :)
Images by Shun Sudo Studio
Artists: Shun Sudo