June 12, 2014

ART: Yuko Shimizu (清水裕子) - The Men in Her Life

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   Learn from a master, Yuko's SkillShare online class:
   YUKO SHIMIZU (清水裕子) is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City and instructor at School of Visual Arts.

   This post examines her depiction of males. Being Japanese, she seems to get lots of jobs illustrating samurai, martial artists, ninjas, & other traditional archetypes of the Asian male. But first...
   Haiku Art Review by Yellowmenace
Crisp, crunchy colors
wavering youthful lines, say: 
a human drew this
Photo of Yuko photo: ©Anton Repponen 2012

    Although art has always been her passion, she had initially chosen a more practical path of studying advertising and marketing at Waseda University and took a job in corporate PR in Tokyo.

More of Yuko's unique inklings below
    Yuko ended up working a corporate PR job for 11 years, so she could save up just enough for the biggest gamble of her life: She moved to New York City in 1999 to study art for the first time.

   Yuko graduated with MFA from SVA’s Illustration as Visual Essay Program in 2003 and  has been illustrating since.

   She works at her studio in midtown Manhattan, and fulfills her passion of world travel by giving lectures and workshops around the world and various cities in the US.

13 Assassins poster for Takashi Miike's film

   Notice how the men in her drawings are, for the most part quite heavily clothed. The details of their garments take prominence over the simple lines used to outline their bodies.
   I could complain about successful Asian artists having to draw samurai, geisha, dragons, etc, much like successful Asian-American actors must play 1 of the 8 AZN stereotypes. But, at least companies are hiring AZNs to illustrate traditionally AZN things.
   RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. Not sure if she's a fan or this was a commission?
   Note the heavy lines outlining the clothes & defining the wrinkles vs. the thin minimal strokes describing the face & body.
   Newsweek Japan has chosen Yuko as one of “100 Japanese People The World Respects" in 2009.
  She illustrated her first children's book Barbed Wire Baseball (written by Marissa Moss) in April, 2013.
   A kind of Shaolin St. Sebastian with the feel of an ancient Chinese painting.
   Yuko's work is rooted in traditional ink drawing & calligraphy with her drawings of men she maintains that aspect in her execution & subject.

   As you will see in a follow-up post, her treatment of females usually features a brash modern sub-cultural juxtaposition to the ancient.
   Takeshi Kitano as Zatoichi: The Blindswordsman styled like a ukiyo-e print
  Learn from Yuko's years of drawing experience in her SkillShare online class:

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