Born in Kokura, North Kyushu in 1974, Yasumitsu Lee moved to Okinawa at the age of 27, charmed by the island’s nature, and began his painting career. Lee decided to enter his first artwork for competition in the Nishiwaki Okanoyama Thumbhole Grand Prix Exhibition when he learned that artist Tadanori Yoko, who he greatly admired, would be one of the judges. Lee’s work ‘ Hawaiian Girl’ was selected as one of the winning entries for the show. In 2015, after several years of living under the Okinawan sun, the island’s vivid colors began to be reflected in Lee’s works with his series entitled ‘Hana’ (flowers). These images of plants, flowers, and other island motifs eventually led to the forming of Lee’s textile brand Taion, which has a stylish shop on Ukishima Street in Naha, selling interior textiles and lifestyle goods. Ulalaka is proud to feature the artworks of Eiten Oshiro and to promote him to an international audience.
You can visit Lee’s interior and lifestyle shop at the address below: Taion Textile Arts 2-3-10 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa Tel: 098-914-1082 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bingata,a traditional Okinawan textile dyeing technique established in the 14th century, uses organic plant and mineral dyes and stencils to create colorful, detailed fabrics. Contemporary bingata artist Yukinaga Chibana, who grew up in a bingata producing family, decided he wanted to give the craft a more modern spin, employing bingata techniques to produce modern artworks which marry bingata with various aspects of subculture. Chibana’s mix of anime, pop art and graffiti styles with traditional bingata patterns and techniques, creates an exciting canvas of visual stimulation. Schoolgirls and tattooed vixens, dragons and other mythical creatures, rock and street symbolism all provide inspiration for the artist. The intricate, kaleidoscopic results are nothing short of breathtaking. Ulalaka is proud to feature the artworks of Yukinaga Chibana and to promote him to an international audience.
If you would like to participate in a bingata workshop, or see more of the artist’s work, please visit his website or arrange a visit to the studio. Bingata Laboratory Somesenka 3-16-7Kakazu, Ginowan, Okinawa 098-890-0560 someseka.com
Eiten Oshiro is Okinawa’s most famous and prolific pop artist. Indeed, you can find Eiten murals all over Naha and other parts of the island.With a style that embraces elements of graffiti and street art, the artist paints cityscapes, colorful plants and fauna with an almost Aboriginal feel. Born into a large family, Eiten loved drawing from a young age. After graduating from art school in Osaka, the artist first focused on metalworks, before finding his niche as a painter. Often painting live on walls, canvas and models, the works are vibrant and flowing, as if the colors themselves refuse to dry. Paintings within paintings swirl around the viewer. In addition to the murals around the city, Eiten’s work has been featured on multiple CD jackets and in shop interiors and magazines. He has exhibited internationally in New York,Hong Kong & London. Ulalaka is proud to feature the artworks of Eiten Oshiro and to promote him to an international audience.
Seikichi Inamine is Okinawa’s premiere Ryukyu glass artist, with a career spanning over half a century. Originally the craft of taking discarded coke bottles and melting them down to refashion into glasses and vases, Inamine single-handedly perfected the technique into exquisite art. Now in retirement, Inamine continues to visit his workshop, where his son Seiichiro has taken on the the role of lead artist, adding his own sense of color and experimentation to the glassworks. Coaxing the melted liquid to bend and twirl at his will, Inamine’s works are filled with with bubbles and textures that create a fantasy land for the viewer, sometimes diving us into the deep blue sea and other times leading us on a journey through the stars. Ulalaka is proud to feature the artworks of Seikichi and Seiichiro Inamine and to promote them to an international audience.
If you would like to see the glassworks production in action, please visit the work area, and connecting shop in Yomitan at Sorabuki Glass Studio Rainbow. Address: 2748 Zakimi, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa 904-0301 Phone: 098-958-6448
Mitsunari Miyagi is a descendant of famous ceramist Jiro Kinjo, who was designated a National Living Treasure before his passing in 2004. Miyagi’s mother and father were also ceramists, so as a young boy he had early exposure to the art form. Although Miyagi continues in the tradition of Yachimun (traditional Okinawa pottery), his works employ a unique sense of color and a playful reinterpretation of common Yachimun designs. The results are stunning ceramic pieces with vivid color and and flowing imagery as their hallmark. Swaying hibiscus, meandering octopi, and other colorful sealife dance across Miyagi’s ceramics inviting the viewer to join their joyful celebration. Ulalaka is proud to feature the artworks of Mitsunari Miyagi and to promote him to an international audience.
If you would like to see more works by Mitsunari Miyagi, please visit the shop in Yomitan. Although open most days, we recommend you call ahead to make an appointment. Address: 2677-6 Zakimi, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Phone: 098-958-1154