The 60 acrylic paintings and prints by Naohisa Inoue on display from next week at Bunkamura Gallery in Shibuya invite visitors into the artist's magical world of "Iblard."

"Sky Cross" (2001), acrylic and oil on canvas, one of the Iblard works of award-winning illustrator Naohisa Inoue to be displayed in Shibuya from Aug. 28.

With a backdrop of beautiful towns and natural settings, but inhabited by mythical beasts and characters such as child witches, Iblard has caught the eyes of many people since its creation by Inoue in the 1970s.

Some have even made comparisons with "Alice in Wonderland," due to the curious sense of familiarity evoked by the images, despite their oddity.

Graduating from Kanazawa College of Art in 1971, Inoue worked as a teacher of fine arts at a high school in Osaka until 1992 and showed his work in group and solo exhibitions, mainly in Kansai.

In the 1980s, he published a couple of titles, including a comic book, "The Tales of Iblard," and a picture book, "The Journey Through Iblard," which won Kodansha's 1983 Rookie of the Year Award in the illustrated books category.

After resigning from his teaching position, Inoue went freelance, expanding his territory to Tokyo. In 1995, he was asked to be the art director for the film "Mimi o Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)" by Hayao Miyazaki, the animation creator known for "Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)" and "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi." To step into Inoue's weird and wonderful world, you need do no more than make your way to Shibuya . . .