Nobuya Hoki’s work oscillates between two of the major trends in Japanese contemporary art since the 1990s: manga-inspired themes and the revival of nihonga (Japanese-style painting). His own painting practice is termed “double-line painting” — which in Japanese also reads as “ni-hon ga” — owing to a specially constructed double brush that he uses, and his manga is of an altogether childish bent though abstracted enough to obscure any narrative specificity.

One work, for example, depicts a large cannibalistic bear eating one its own kind and then defecating another. Another appears to portray two rounded cutesy characters, the large one on the left with its mouth agape and somewhat reminiscent of the character Dokkin-chan from the cartoon Anpan-man, and the lower figure on the right looking rather more perturbed.

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