Taka Sudo

June 28, 2019

We caught up with our cover artist and 2016 Vancouver Mural Festival artist, Taka Sudo in his studio to learn about his art. Contrasting elements are a major inspiration for Taka. His work mixes cityscapes with nature, neon colours with neutral tones, bold features with subtle strokes, and energetic vibes with calm, flowing lines.

Taka is a self taught artist, beginning his foray into art by sketching as a child. At the University of Tokyo, Taka studied Law, which he soon discovered was not a path he was passionate about. Moving on from Law, Taka began to study film making. It was here he picked up storyboarding, scriptwriting, and other film techniques that he attributes to be part of the inspiration for his work. Instead of creating a storyboard for a 2 hour film, Taka was creating an entire film on one canvas.

Taka moved to Whistler from Tokyo fifteen years ago to pursue his passion for skiing. He credits his experience of immigrating and the contrast of Tokyo and BC as a major part of his inspiration for his unique artistic style. His love for skiing and snow sports have inspired visual cues in his work, which can be seen in the slashing elements and sprays of colour throughout his pieces.

Recently, Taka turned his eye to exploring his Japanese heritage and the concept of blurring international borders through his artwork. Kirin, the protagonist and title of the cover piece by Taka, is a Japanese mythical creature who can be found in China (qilin) and other East Asian cultures. The Kirin is a creature with the head of a dragon, the body of (often) a lion, and is believed to be a benevolent being, revealing its supernatural abilities only when it is required to defend the innocent from the malice of evil. Kirin is a mixture of multiple contrasting or contradicting elements, lending itself perfectly to Taka’s style.

Having ties to both Japan and Canada, Taka creates pieces with no borders, bringing together his inspiration from people, nature, and experiences. This philosophy of “no borders” is something that Taka hopes to continue to push with his work. In years past, Taka curated a show that included 20 artists – 10 from Vancouver and 10 from Tokyo, with each group displaying their works at the exact same time in their respective countries. Take hopes to create more shows like this, to cross the borders of time and distance.

When looking to the future, Taka plans to continue experimenting with new styles and elements, involving new animals and larger scale pieces. Though he tries new techniques and visuals, he believes that consistency is crucial and keeps the explosion of colour and texture throughout his work. He hopes to create large scale paintings both on canvas and urban elements, as well as delve into pieces nestled amongst the British Columbian landscape. Despite his enjoyment of displaying his pieces in galleries where people are able to take them home to enjoy, mural or outdoor work is for everyone and can be enjoyed by the masses which Taka loves as well.

Mural by Taka Sudo unveiled at the 2016 Vancouver Mural Festival
Photo by Gabriel Hall




Want to see Taka in person? Come to your local Opus and join us for a demo,
click here for details!