For the 5th “Artist in Hotel Project”, where an entire room is decorated by an artist, the Japanese painter Nobuo Magome chose the theme of “Supernatural beings and the sky”. The work, which began on 16th March, was completed on 4th August.
For “Supernatural beings and the sky”, Magome chose Room 3125, which offers the best view of the sky from the bed. When you enter the room, you are greeted by a big “kappa”(River Being) smiling at you sweetly. The supernatural beings, full of fun, form a line right up to the sky. Clouds, in the shape of 4 gods – the Azure Dragon of the East, Vermilion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Turtle of the North – swirl around the “sky” or ceiling light. They watch over the room. And the supernatural beings from the sky slip from the round mirror into the room again, go around the window frame, pass through the kappa’s arch, and return to the sky. The artist painted each supernatural being very finely, so the whole work took more than 4 months to complete.
The supernatural beings play, and there’s blue sky everywhere. The supernatural beings painted here are beings which make people happy.
[Staff recommendation comment]
From several centuries ago, “Yokai” have been part of the Japanese folklore. They are seen as terrifying creatures that are not so pleasant at the first sight. However, the Yokai painted by Nobuo Magome in this room are illustrated with pleasant pastel colours, and are portrayed as friendly. These pastel colours bring brightness to the room compared to the traditional dark illustrations of Yokai. If we look up to the ceiling, we can see a wide blue sky with a bright light in the middle representing the sun. Furthermore, there are Yokai painted all throughout the room, even in areas that you would least expect, such as behind the curtains, or inside the closet, so you can enjoy looking for them during your stay.
Room #3125 | Completion Date: August 2014
From ancient times, there was a view in Japan that the soul (God) dwells within Nature.
I think that part of this which was visible to people were the drawings of supernatural beings, Yokai, long ago, which were handed down through the ages.
We know that Yokai are sacred things which may be good or evil depending on our actions.
So, although they were often drawn as terrifying things which were a warning to people, I have been doing just the opposite. In other words, I want you to see these Yokai when they are good and make people happy, and that’s how I paint them.
And, the Yokai in my works are personifications in which we can see ourselves.
By the art of painting Yokai, I want to reveal the uncertainty of our daily lives, and while satirizing the world in which we live, I hope to change something negative into something positive.
Born 1976 in Tokyo.
Completed his master course in Japanese painting at Tama Art University.
His works have consistently focused on Japanese supernatural beings.
He has interpreted these beings passed down from generation to generation in his own way, and is creating modern paintings of them.