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In This Age Where We Pay Taxes Just To Breathe, I Wish Seeing My Works Brings Happiness

ARTIST INSIDE 2022 | Backside works.

In This Age Where We Pay Taxes Just To Breathe, I Wish Seeing My Works Brings Happiness

Based in Fukuoka, Japan, and active since 2017, Backside works. is a self-described subculture artist.
Rather than aiming for high-end art, the artist incorporates subcultures such as anime and graffiti art into his work.
He enjoys working with pen-and-ink and spray painting, and he often collaborates with fashion brands to create unique otaku-inspired characters.
The motif of his work is always cute girls, but the artist says, “I draw ‘heroines’, not girls.”

Backside works., 백사이드 웍스., Yaburekabure blue, 2022, mixed-media, 72.7 × 60.6 cm

Why a heroine and not a girl?

The heroine is what is most important for the hero. I don’t want to draw a cute girl, I want to draw a female protagonist who is indispensable to the male protagonist. To me, a heroine is someone with whom you can share a life story, and I want to give the audience a heroine who will make them the hero.

But you don’t draw heroes though.

I love heroes, of course, but I want to draw what is important to me. As for men…let’s say I’m not prepared to draw them yet.

Backside works., 백사이드 웍스., Suketoudara, 2022, Mixed media, 100 × 71 cm

I’d like to know how you paint so that the brushstrokes are invisible.

First, I imagine a story in which a heroine is likely to exist, like in an animation. And I try to make it as flat as possible with the technique of animation. So, I usually use spray paint and computer inkjet printing. Sometimes I use stickers, and sometimes I go crazy! I try to use the coolest expression, please let me know if you have any advice on how to do it better!

You seem to collaborate more with street fashion brands than luxury brands. Is there a particular reason for this?

The reason is simple: I can’t afford expensive clothes. I would love to work with luxury brands if I could. Art has always been a business, and it’s rather strange to think of art and commerce separately. We live in a modern world where we have to pay taxes just to breathe, and if I don’t have money, I can’t paint. However, even so, I want people to be happy when they see my works.

Backside works., 백사이드 웍스., Panel Anderson, 2022, Mixed media, 92.5 × 183.5 cm

Compared to your fame, your biography is quite unknown.

My works already are a reflection of myself seen through my own desires, so there is no need to put myself out there. Also, if I wanted to be in the public eye, I’d have to go on a diet.

Some of your works have a donut motif, why are young artists drawing so many donuts these days?

Do you know how to make a donut? You knead flour, fry it in oil, and sprinkle it with sugar. It’s crazy. Doesn’t that remind you of something? That’s art. What do you think? Let’s try have a donut all together today!

Backside works., 백사이드 웍스., VALIANT GIRL JAMP1, 2022, Mixed media, 91 × 66 × 10 cm

Interview by Heaseung Kang, published on Kiaf 2022 Catalogue