Kenichiro Mizuno

Kenichiro Mizuno’s work is always referencing an at best, dying artform… the hand drawn cartoon, and more specifically Japanese Anime, and even more specifically the golden era of late 1970’s to 80’s Japanese Animation. From an outsider’s view… Mizuno’s work would possibly be classed as otaku, but it is way beyond and into the beyond. This is not Otaku, this is multifaceted and multi leveled art, showing highly skilled draftsmanship and creating a world that is nostalgic yet discussing a possible future, a retro future. The scenes he creates and the characters that live within them are narrative, but a disjointed narrative, sometimes surreal and dreamlike. Mizuno takes the elements and feeling, not just of this specific animation but the production of this animation, the materiality of it, the visual tools, the language of process, hand written notations and sequence numbers, the special paper with holes set for camera braces, the drawing and painting techniques… capturing even the smallest detail of pencil lines not ink (which where originally photocopied onto the acetate cel and colored on reverse). The character reference guides that look like a Police line up of weird sculptural creatures and beings, their clothes merging into their bodies. Sentient beings in mid movement, mid metamorphosis, mid conversation. He uses animation view points and captures the landscape in a way that often makes the background into the subject. Always all with an outline. And with all these visual tools, he has built a universe where solidity and natural law are often mixed up, a space of experimentation, morphing physicality and consciousness in a fibonacci spiral.