Shinro Ohtake worked as a painter and sculptor before a stay in London where a chance to meet an old man would steer his creativity in another possible direction. This old man had obsessively collected matchbooks and glued them into pages of a notebook. Ohtake bought the collection and began to birth his own „street books", profound, excessive scrapbooks stuffed with discarded cultural artefacts collected from travel-scavenged tickets, snapshots, tags, currency, newspapers and other mass-produced printed matter taken for granted by popular culture. His scrapbook works are sculptural, colourful intense layerings of found images and objects that interact with his paintings and drawings before he seals them with coats of wax, stain, and varnish, plastic or fiber-glass.
Ohtake has had exhibitions in Europe, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, the United States and Japan. Greatly influenced by personal experiences, surrealism, pop art and music, David Hockney, Adolf Wölfi, and a postman named Cheval, the artist brings to light a mix of the other worldly and the plain in order to present the complexities of our modern psyche.