Jun Inagawa’s work as an artist is visceral, punk, and in-your-face. The Japanese artist has gained traction in recent years after his move to San Diego. Since 2012, Inagawa has explored moe, otaku, and street culture through his cartoons, which have been displayed in art installations and on items of clothing.
Otaku and Moe
Otaku is the Japanese term for a person with obsessive interests, usually as it pertains to manga and anime. Though it has had a negative connotation in the past, people are now self-identifying as otaku and shamelessly sharing their love of certain subjects.
Moe carries a couple of different meanings centered around affection. It can mean affection towards characters in manga, anime, or video games; more specifically, that affection can be centered around cuteness or perceived innocence, especially when it comes to female characters.
Moe can also carry a negative overtone, as it can be seen as fetishizing young, female characters. Moe and otaku are terms that go hand-in-hand, and they are two of the main cultural ideas explored by Jun Inagawa in his artwork.
Art and Clothing
Before exhibiting his art in a gallery, Jun Inagawa’s designs were displayed on clothing and accessories by way of collaborations with fashion lines. First, he partnered with ULTRAOLIVE on their designer series of dry bags. In 2018, he collaborated with VLONE, AWGE, and Diesel’s brand-campaign ‘HA(U)TE COUTURE.’
Jun Inagawa’s work with AWGE manifested in hoodies and tees for the ‘Nightclub USA x Jun Inagawa’ collection. He also had a pop-up with Shadow Movement inspired by the Tim Burton film, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.
Inagawa’s first solo art exhibition, Magical Girl Destroyers, was at the Diesel Art Gallery in the spring of 2019.
He continues to contribute art and cartoons to magazines and catalogs while pursuing a career as a manga artist in Japan, where he now resides.