Asian artists are at the forefront of contemporary art, pioneering new styles, genres and movements. Find original and exciting work from emerging Asian artists, as well as work from well known and established artists working globally.
Back in 2014, it was announced that Yayoi Kusama was the most popular artist in the world. In the 7 years that have followed, her influence can be felt everywhere, from the walls of the world’s most renowned art galleries, to design styles, to the direction of concept-led art. Alongside fellow Asian artists Takashi Murakami and Ai Weiwei, Yayoi Kusama has been undeniably influential in making the art world what it is today.
This guide shines a light on other Asian artists making a name for themselves in the art world. From the iconic fashion photography or Vikram Kushwah to the impressionistic portraits of Ta Byrne, our online gallery showcases a vast range of work by Asian painters, photographers, sculptors and more. Discover our top 5 Asian artists or explore our full collection of Rise Art Asian artists here.
Japanese painter Kotaro Machiyama executes abstract works in a stark illustrative style. Sharp and defined shapes dominate his canvases, layered on top of one another to give each work a colourful vibrancy. Kotaro’s paintings are inspired by the beauty of time and space and time. He zooms in on unrecognisable objects, mirrored the desire and the pull of attraction.
Kotaro’s paintings have a digital aesthetic to them, partly due the sharpness of line and shape and the consistency of colour. Kotaro plans his paintings on photoshop, playing with the arrangement and composition of the work before executing it in acrylic paint.
Kotaro lives and works in Tokyo, where he has shown in solo and group exhibitions for over a decade. He has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Daikokuya Contemporary Art Award.
Krista Kim is perhaps best known for pioneering the Techism art movement, which celebrates the connection between technology and art. Large scale and luminous, Krista’s pieces are fascinating explorations of light and colour in the form of abstract paintings. In a similar way to Lei Sylvie, Krista’s consideration and attention to light gives a compelling depth to her art. Rainbow gradients that deny a focal point or focused definition challenge the viewer’s understanding of abstraction.
Krista cites Rothko as one of her greatest inspirations in his ability to connect human with something bigger than ourselves. Krista’s paintings align with certain abstract expressionist works and are in themselves, have a colourfield aesthetic. This new type of colour field painting follows Marshall McLuhan’s theory that ‘the medium is the message’. Although abstract, Krista’s paintings are direct in their message and in blurring the boundary between science and art.
Li Shan Chong creates small scale and intimate paintings that explore the fragility of human emotion. With a primary focus on a female subject, Li Shan’s paintings have a clear vulnerability to them, in which figures are often naked or crying. The small size of Li Shan’s canvases echoes the vulnerability of her subjects, as the viewer is prompted to come closer to the painting when looking at it.
The titles of Li Shan Chong’s paintings are both poetic and melancholy, often referencing the tears that remain constant throughout her work. The tears are emphasized by Li Shan’s illustrative style, in which she spreads and magnifies them to form a whole new narrative. These opaque streams of tears give Li Shan’s paintings a surrealist tone, as the realm of reality merges into the realm of the imaginary.
The way Li Shan detaches figures from reality is echoed in the work of Tou Toa, an artist exploring the importance of space and timelessness. Although approach in a different medium and style, Tou’s paintings have a similar tone to Li Shan’s, in the way they both give their figures a wistful and remote presence.
Japanese artist Hiroshi Sato creates atmospheric portraits and quiet still life paintings in oils. Hiroshi’s realist style is inspired by the work of artists such as Vermeer, Hopper and Cezanne. He has a distinct stillness to his approach, in which the subject is often facing away from the viewer and oblivious of our presence. By positioning his subjects in this way, Hiroshi confronts the viewer-turned-voyeur and we are then confronted with our own role in the scene, therefore the painting.
The colours in Hiroshi’s paintings are often muted and earthy, echoing the stillness of the scene. His palette is similar to that of Sio Kit Lai, who also records sparse and poetic observations of everyday life.
Hiroshi’s paintings have been exhibited across the US and shown in collections and exhibitions in New York, San Francisco and Colorado. His work has also been featured in magazines such as Juxtapoz, Fine Art Connoisseur and Visual Art Source, to name a few.
Pak Keung Wan is a multimedia artist, working across photography, drawing and installation. Drawing remains Pak Keung’s primary medium, as he creates his characteristically minimalist pieces ranging from small to large scales. Sometimes focusing on simplicity and repetition, and at other times working on vintage photographs Pak Keung’s art is captivating through its simplicity and detail.
Pak Keung is currently based in Birmingham in the UK, but has had residencies and exhibitions all over the world, spanning from Nebraska to New Delhi. With a unique conceptual approach to drawing, Pak Keung has transformed this typically traditional medium, instead presenting it as something that can achieve both intricacy and impact.