Born in 1967 in Nagoya, Japan, Itagaki attended Tama Art University in Tokyo, where he studied art and design. In 1995 he received a Master of Art in studio art from New York University. He also attended the International Center of Photography in New York. During the past two years, he has focused his lens on tourists photographing themselves at popular sightseeing spots.

Artist Statement - Japan as Yours

With these images, I intend to reflect present-day Japanese society as a multicultural technological society built on ancient traditions, but traditions that have been influenced by many others.

Growing up in Japan, old Zen gardens and wood-block prints such as those of Hiroshige and Hokusai represented Japanese tradition for me. Using these images as backgrounds, I superimposed some computer-made 3D images and cartoon figures. While these works appear strictly "Japanese," ironically, they also include references to other cultures. For example, Zen gardens have been greatly influenced by Indian and Chinese traditions, and Hokusai adopted Renaissance perspective techniques in his work. Also, Japanese cartoons imitated an American style in their early days. So, what appears to be traditionally Japanese is in fact a reflection of Japan's multicultural aesthetic.

The Alternative Museum | Digitally Born
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