Japanese Artist Fits Entire Worlds Into His Drawings, And His Surreal Works Take Him Years (28 Pics)

Our loyal readers might already be familiar with Manabu Ikeda and his works, but you will find something new in his drawings every time you take a look at them, whether you’ve just discovered the artist or have been following him for a while. His large, surreal masterpieces fit entire worlds, and they’re so intricate, it’s probably impossible to ingest them in one viewing, even if you spend hours gazing at every inch of them. The pen and ink pieces constantly offer you new details.

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Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Sometimes Ikeda sketches the broader picture in pencil on the canvas, but he primarily works with pen and acrylic ink using various forms of cross-hatching and brushwork to fill areas so dense with details, his true virtuosity reveals itself only when you’re standing right in front of the drawings.

‘Birth’ 2013-2016

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

“By concretely depicting the whole, this gives more persuasive power to the work as a single mass, and so it seems to grow greater and is more realistic: that is the process for me. The most important thing is what kind of presence the work has as a whole,” Ikeda told My Modern Met. “Its composition, its space, its details, and its entirety all of these facets are included in what becomes its presence. That is the most important thing to me.”

‘Meltdown’ 2013

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

The artist constantly keeps track of his new ideas by sketching various images whenever they pop up in his mind. However, once he starts working on his big projects, they usually develop organically. “It depends on the size of work, but for big size ones, I usually ink it directly without a draft,” he told HI Fructose. “I use ideas that flash in my mind at the moment, along with using my sketchbooks. From a distance, I look at the whole balance of work, and finally determine the image, which takes about one year after I started drawing. Recently, I try to have a whole solid image in the beginning to shorten the time.”

‘History of Rise and Fall’ 2006

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

One theme you can notice in nearly all of his works is the relationship between nature and industry. “The shape, color, and expression of nature… water, bugs, trees and weather, all those provide me with heart-pumping sensations and questions,” the artist explained. “They strongly attract me. I agree that we benefit a lot from advanced technology, but at the same time, I feel that we are acting contrary to nature, which makes me feel endangered. Also, figuratively, accomplished shapes do not move my heart.”

In the end, Manabu is attracted to the mystery of a caterpillar’s color and shape much more than any amazing technology.

‘Foretoken’ 2008

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Drifter

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Gate

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

‘Victim’ 2009

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Ice stream

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Ark

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Territory

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Existence

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

Image credits: IKEDA Manabu

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Follow Bored Panda on Google News!Share on Facebook124 Denis TymulisAuthor, BoredPanda staff

Denis is a photo editor at Bored Panda. After getting his bachelor’s degree in Multimedia and Computer Design, he tried to succeed in digital design, advertising, and branding.
Also, Denis really enjoys sports and loves everything related to board sports and water. Read more »

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