Born in 1988, Āto Naoki is an emerging artist who recreates the traditional art of Japanese woodblocks by incorporating contemporary characters and references into his pieces. Creativity runs in Naoki's veins. His father is a painter and always thought that one day he would follow in his footsteps- finally during lockdown he began creating!
Produced in their many thousands and hugely popular during the Edo period (1615 – 1868), colourful woodblock prints, known as ukiyo-e, depict scenes from everyday Japan. Naoki uses
these scenes as a backdrop for his new artwork, for example, placing the characters from the video game Street Fighter on a traditional woodblock print of a Japanese street.
Naoki is inspired by the artists of the Ukiyo-e movement, and also by modern day manga artists. Through merging manga, ukiyo-e and contemporary culture, Naoki pays homage to Japanese culture in a novel way. The artist screenprints onto wood and then float mounts each piece within a wooden frame, Ato hand makes all of these frames using a technique his father taught him. This is in keeping with traditional woodblock printing.