Credited as one of the pioneers of the Pop Art movement in Japan, Keiichi Tanaami’s creative journey started at a young age as a witness to the horrors of World War Two. Images of destruction were indelibly burned onto the imagination of the 9 year-old as his native Tokyo was bombed by American forces, and elements of the experience stayed with the artist into his adult working life. Fire, searchlights and aeroplanes have all reappeared in his work, along with motifs from another important event in his life which happened in 1981. Tanaami was brought close to death by a pulmonary oedema, and during his fight for life he experienced profound hallucinations which would aslo scar his psyche and inform his art in the subsequent years.
Tanaami first rose to prominence in the 1960s, producing psychedelic album covers for the Japanese releases of albums by The Monkees and Jefferson Airplane. He later took up the role of art director for Playboy’s Japanese edition, and again his experiences fed back into his independent practice. Death Bridge is a collection featuring two recent series by Tanaami, the first a revisiting of his Pop Art-era work, and the second containing more personal subject matter in a spiritual, hallucinatory style. Aishonanzuka in Hong Kong is the exhibition venue, and the dates are 15 May to 12 July.