Japanese Contemporary Artist Team

14 Artist’s View


Feel the sparkle of spring. We are introducing a special collection of fourteen contemporary Japanese artists for a limited time at the WAZA shop.

Please see the artistic view of the craftsmanship on the Arita porcelain wine glasses, unique and beautiful art form Jewelries to one and only art objects, paintings/drawings and more… all available for purchase at the store.

Starting from Monday March 11 to Sunday April 28, 2024 at WAZA Shop Los Angeles.


Ai Suzuki

Ai Suzuki paints kanji between the new moon and the full moon, encouraging the viewers not just to read but to appreciate and feel them. Since she was young, she loved to daydream. She also enjoyed recalling the strange landscapes she encountered in her dreams. Her creative work, which mainly involves stylized use of the calligraphy brush, expresses the shapeless images of her imagination and the thoughts and feelings we can’t see.


Akihiko Maeda

Akihiko Maeda mainly produces wood carvings for the ‘Danjiri Festival.’ This festival has a history of over 300 years and uses floats called ‘Danjiri.’ Danjiri are filled with a wide variety of carvings and are characterized by their dynamism and delicate workmanship as if they are about to come alive at any moment. This time, He brings sculptures made using his proficient wood carving techniques and knowledge.

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Arisa Itami: In 2008, after encounters with many artists and driven by the concept of “making art a part of life,” Arisa successfully established her own art gallery. In 2014, she wrote “What Schools Don’t Teach About Becoming an Artist”, which became a best seller in Amazon’s Art Education. Arisa is currently the director of the Japanese Contemporary Artists Team (JCAT) in New York, where she helps young artists step into the art world.

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Etsuko Narita

Etsuko Narita was born to a father who is a special bag craftsman. For this reason, she has been familiar with highly skilled handicrafts since she was very little.

She traveled to France in 2009, when she was introduced to Luneville embroidery, a technique used in Haute Couture embroidery.

After returning home, she entered several art competitions in Japan and exhibited her artworks at museums and other galleries.

Focusing on the beauty of the materials, she continues creating artworks under the inspiration from the scenery.

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Kaori Kojima

Kaori Kojima creates space by adding and subtracting paints, mainly gold, and colors of sumi ink.

“Contours” for her represents the substance of the object it outlines and, at the same time, is connected to the spaces, lights, and invisible substances that lie before and after it.

Those spaces, beautiful and alive, are what Kaori Kojima expresses.

She feels them dwell in everything and that everything is embraced by and receiving encouragement and love from them.

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She was born in Tsugaru, Aomori in Japan, known for its heavy snow in the winter. “Tsugaru Onna” (Women born in Tsugaru) are known for having strong, passionate personalities. Kohana has created installation pieces and performances using movies and mixed materials. Her works have a blended taste of traditional Japanese and Western styles and the power to affect the viewer’s emotions emanating from their primal experiences. She is also a child psychiatrist and a researcher specializing in psychiatric problems in children.

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Makoto Ambo

Born in Saroma Town, Hokkaido, in 1962, he released his original ink painting technique, “nijimi ga,” in 1993, and since 2018, he has been working on “Zero Killing Save the Cats & Dogs” using his beloved cat Momoko as a model. 2022: Received the “16th JCAT GALLERY Award” from New York-based JCAT and was selected as “Best Contemporary Artist to Watch in 2024” by Contemporary Art Curator magazine.

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Mariko Kumon

MARIKO KUMON is a Japanese artist who lives in Barcelona, Spain. She graduated in applied mathematics from a university in Japan. Almost twenty years ago, she had changed her life. She began studying art in Barcelona.

For her, sculpture is the most common form of expression of it. In many cases, she describes life with deep emotions. The line transmuted into wire is the personal representation of her thoughts. These suggestive power lines convey moods, thus building a personal language.

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Merry Candle

From Chiba Prefecture

Merry Candle is producing one of the original candles in the world.

The sparkling light of the candle is the light of hope.

No matter what the situation of the world, if you light a warm light in people's hearts, she wants to tell the world from the candle that everyone is waiting for a peaceful and bright future.

Paris International Prize for Art
Orsay World Art Heritage Artist

Material GummyWax Made in Japan

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NishikotoroBlue is a brand by NaoFurusawa. NaoFurusawa creates textile designs in Japan based on the themes of “vivid colors like kimono” and “traditional Japanese patterns, flowers, and familiar animals” and makes bags using these textiles.

The greatest feature of these bags is that NaoFurusawa alone carefully creates all the processes from textile design to bag production, and are very durable even though they are not sewn at all. It is the wish of NaoFurusawa to give people around the world a feeling of “Japan” through the bags that she creates.

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Nobuyo Sakakibara

Releasing the sparkles of the stardust back to space – is the magic Nobuyo Sakakibara makes in her art.

In August 2022, Nobuyo Sakakibara succeeded in hosting a solo exhibition in Chelsea, New York, with a myriad of galleries, in which art connoisseurs praised her works as embodying light and air.

In recent years, Nobuyo has been working on a series, Blooming of a New World.

Nobuyo mixes the old and the new on her palette and showcases one-and-only expressions.

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From an early age, Takuto was compared to those around him and felt inferior. Takuto goes to school and looks for a job normally, but he experiences setbacks and despair. Art gave Takuto a sense of security and freedom. Takuto’s technology transforms past despair into art. Please come and experience the world of tact.

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Tanikuchi Shiori

tanikuchi shiori was born in 1972. tanikuchishiori encountered glass in the year 2000. Since 2005, tanikuchishiori has been working at Ruri Studio TAGORIHIME. continuing to this day, tanikuchishiori aspires to deliver unique pieces, recognizing that just like each individual is different, the expectations for each piece of work vary. tanikuchishiori creates with a heartfelt dedication, drawing inspiration from the beauty and myths of Japan. She aims to encapsulate this beauty within exquisite glass and share it with the world.

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Tomoko Shitozawa

TOMOKO SHITOZAWA was born in Kyoto, Japan.

After graduating from junior college, became a kindergarten teacher.

After marrying and retiring, studied tall painting while raising children.

In 2011, I participated in the Osaka Canvas Project and experienced contemporary art for the first time.

In the fall of 2016, began learning confectionery techniques and started making flower cakes, and also began using confectionery tools to create artwork in pursuit of artistic expression.

Will continue to explore various methods of expression in the future.

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About JCAT

Japanese Contemporary Artist Team

With the spirit of “Art for Everyone,” JCAT, short for Japanese Contemporary Artists Team, was established under the mission to achieve what a single soul of Japanese artist cannot achieve as a team. JCAT is a New York-based artist team formed by over 200 Japanese contemporary artists. Our artists include painters, illustrators, calligraphers, photographers, sculptors, mixed-media artists, and manga artists.

Swimmy, the story by Leo Lionni encapsulates what we can achieve as a team. Swimmy, a lone fish, devises a plan to form the shape of a large fish along with a school of little red fish so they can swim through the sea freely and fearlessly. The sea for us to swim through is the bigger world that is out there. The limited potential of an individual grows into boundless possibilities once it starts to join forces with each other.

Carrying on the philosophy of its predecessor Ouch Gallery, ran by the art director ARISA from 2008 through 2018, JCAT sets its sight on shifting people’s understanding of art from something special to the essence of the lives of all mankind by redefining the significance of art, thus ultimately bringing change to the art scene in Japan. Today, over 200 artists are taking a step at a time with JCAT.