Atsushi Kaga is a Japanese artist living and working in Dublin. Kaga’s practice is steeped in popular culture and includes drawing, painting, sculpture and animation. Kaga’s work is disguised in whimsy, yet astutely addresses the complexities of life in the twenty-first century. When Kaga was eighteen he wanted to be a comedian, and it shows. His use of humour is the methodology he employs to take us to interesting places. While not eliciting the belly laughs of a stand-up comedian, Kaga’s work, conspires to make us smile and ultimately question.
Bunny – ostensibly the main man – his panda father and kangaroo mother, for example, are all facets of the artists personae. Bunny depicts Kaga’s silly side; Bear his dark side and the forever-weeping Panda, his melancholic side. After a recent trip home to Japan, doughnuts of every flavour have made an appearance in Kaga’s work. In the wackily titled I want to give love to socially neglected parts of you, that’s my mission, a multitude of flavoured doughnuts proliferate, with ‘Welcome to Doughnut Heaven’ emblazoned in Japanese across the top of the work. Positioned centrally in this work are the characters Bunny and Robert who are clad in flowing capes, like superheroes. They gain strength and fortitude from their sweet treats and lead us magnificently to sugar heaven. Mission accomplished!
Atsushi Kaga studied at the Tama Art Institute, Tokyo, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, Cork and received his BA in Fine Art Painting from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2005. He has exhibited at the Nicolas Krupp Gallery, Basel, mother’s tankstation, Dublin, Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Fenton Gallery, Cork, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Éigse Carlow and Iontas 2005 at the Sligo Art Gallery. Kaga is represented by mother’s tankstation, Dublin.