Keita Minami solo exhibition

Keita Minami solo exhibition "Nice to Me Chu Again, TOKYO"

2023.01.21(Sat) – 2023.01.26(Thu)

From Saturday, January 21st to Thursday, January 26th, 2023, YUGEN Gallery will hold a solo exhibition by illustrator and artist Keita Minami, titled "Nice to Me, Again, TOKYO."

A disturbing color scheme that shakes common sense

The world of Minami Keita's paintings, colored with crayons and oil pastels, gives the viewer an indescribable sense of unease, even though they are witty. This will be the first solo exhibition in Tokyo in 14 years.

Having a picture book author father, I have been familiar with painting since childhood. When I was around 20 years old when I was attending the Setsu Mode seminar, I was fascinated by drawing with crayons. Until then, paints didn't suit her, and she had only drawn black-and-white portraits with pencils. He says that it was a release from the hardships of life he had felt until then, and the mental ill-feelings.

"Especially at school, it seemed as if they were making parts that conformed to standards, and I couldn't get used to it. 'Normal' and 'common sense' may be a necessary system to stabilize groups and societies. It takes away my freedom and makes me feel suffocated. Drawing was what saved me from this suffocation, and I felt a sense of liberation that I had never experienced before with crayons.”

While knowing the rules of living in society, he came to realize that he could take the initiative in his own life by keeping a certain distance from them. It was started.

Open your senses to a colorless and transparent world

Coloring that hides absurdity in humorous subjects. The southern worldview, which is like an Eastern European fable, gives us a sense of criticism and satirical expressions honed in the oppressed society of Eastern Europe, which was a collection of satellite states of the Soviet Union.

Minami's perspective, which tries to stop and think about common sense, is brought about by the "altered consciousness" she experienced at the age of 26. Altered consciousness is a concept that became famous in 1969 in a book edited by American psychologist Charles Tart from the cultural background of hippie, counter, and psychedelic culture trends. Various states of consciousness that deviate from sexuality.

It is said that altered consciousness can be touched through intense direct experience rather than thought in the head, and it is possible to acquire a way of seeing the world that is completely different from the conventional world view. The experience was a dream for the South.

A dream in which I watched an insect that landed in front of me pierce my heart and was about to take my life, with ``more curiosity than fear''. I closed my eyes thinking that I had died, and when I opened my eyes again, I found myself in a "silver kaleidoscope" world. At the same time, a vast and quiet lake with no ripples appeared, and the "door of perception" was opened.

After this dream, Minami's altered consciousness lasted for two weeks. It is human beings who give meaning to phenomena, and I come to believe that common sense, which is sometimes severely tormented, is nothing more than a framework that can be removed at any time.

In this way, Minami shakes the cage of consciousness and, by escaping outside, begins to pursue the essence of life—the way one interacts with the world as it is. Departure from common sense is also reflected in Minami's mysterious color combination and the point of "playing with colors" that theory does not have.

I descend to the depths of my consciousness and reunite with myself

This exhibition, "Nice to Me, Again, TOKYO," begins with works from around the age of 20, when she encountered crayons and spread the joy of drawing. Looking back. Approximately 30 works will be displayed as if they were looking at a picture diary.

In recent years, he has expanded his range of expression, such as stencils that supplement crayons, which are difficult to draw in detail, and digital collage works.

“I moved from Tokyo to Gifu 11 years ago, and it has been a long time since I have seen my work in Tokyo, where I have many acquaintances. I've lived in Tokyo for a long time, but I'd like to introduce myself again with the feeling of 'nice to meet you'."

The previous altered consciousness also affected Minami's view of life and death. Blooming flowers eventually wither and return to the ground. Using this analogy, Minami sees death as the earth and the base of life. Life is born from death and returns to death. I came to the idea that with death life becomes eternal and there is no discontinuity. However, there is no right or wrong for Minami to perceive the phenomenon of life and death. He says it's important to know.

Minami's work leads you to a new encounter with yourself by descending deeply into consciousness that you can't usually see. The viewer speaks to himself through a single painting. "Nice to meet you, again".

Works on display

*Some of the works on display are subject to change. please note that.

About work sales

At the same time as the exhibition is held, it will be possible to view and purchase the works on the YUGEN Gallery official online store.

Information on visitor benefits

An original art book will be presented free of charge only to those who have answered the questionnaire form at the time of visit.
This is an original art book only for this exhibition, in which the exhibited works and the exhibition statement are compiled in one volume.

Keita Minami Solo Exhibition "Nice to Me, TOKYO" Art Book
Recording artist: Minami Keita
B4 variant / List price 1,650 yen (tax included)

*Please note that the design of the art book is subject to change.



Solo exhibition at Itetsu White Clothing Store, Gifu

Gallery Kojiue, Taiwan Group Exhibition "Ito ~ ito ~"


Tokyo Stripe Space

Exhibition "MJ Exhibition vol.12"



Illustration Festival "LUSTR9"

Minami Keita


Born in Tokyo in 1981. After graduating from high school, studied illustration at Setsumode Seminar and MJ Illustrations. Illustrated notebook "15th notebook exhibition" grand prize (2014), Tokyo illustrator's society "12th TIS open call" silver award (2014). "13th TIS Open Call" Jury Prize (2015). TIS member. He has worked on illustrations for books and magazines, picture books, novelist Keiya Iwai, artwork for the band LUCKY TAPES, and murals for commercial facilities.

Go to author page

exhibition period

2023.01.21(Sat) - 2023.01.26(Thur)


YUGEN Gallery


Token International Building 3F, 2-12-19 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Opening hours

Mon-Fri 14:00-19:00
Sat/Sun/Holidays 13:00-19:00
*Ends at 17:00 on the last day only

Writer's day

January 21 (Sat), 22 (Sun), 23 (Mon)

closing day


Admission fee



*Please note that the exhibition period and opening hours may change without notice depending on the situation.