Birth and Death Bridge | Keiichi Tanaami (United Dead Artists)
With Grotesque female creatures, atomic lightbeams, skulls, Pop monsters and ukiyo-e decoration... These polychromic hallucinations of a Master of Psychedelic art were inspired by a near-death experience. Metaphor for life, bridge is a central motif of the works gathered in this publication. The source of this project lies in the serious illness Keiichi Tanaami contracted at the age of 45. Medications prescribed were to give him strong hallucinations. Tanaami share his memories of these visions, in between dream and consciousness at the gates of death. Published following the eponymous exhibition at at Mizuma Gallery, Singapore, in 2013. Born in 1936 as the son of a textile wholesaler, Keiichi Tanaami was nine years old when he experienced the bombing of Tokyo towards the end of World War II. He studied at the Musahino Art University, visited Andy Warhol in New York in 1969, worked with both Robert Rauschenberg and art critic Michel Tapié during their travels to Japan, and designed record covers for Jefferson Airplane and The Monkees. He maintained a successful career as an illustrator and a graphic designer throughout the 1960s and early '70s, and was appointed as the first artistic director of the Japanese edition of Playboy magazine in 1975. With an infinite artistic appetite, Tanaami continues working across all boundaries, embracing painting, sculpture, performance and film, as well as a professor on the Faculty of Information Design at the Kyoto University of Art and Design in Japan.