Artist and designer AsahiNa (@_asahina__) creates a pastel-colored digital world where everything sparkles as ice or jewels. In it, there are elements as disparate as sharp tribals, metallic butterflies, transparent car wheels, and three-dimensional hearts. All of them are surrounded by moving water and bathed in a light that makes them constantly glow.
As a designer, Asahina is linked to the Japanese alternative scene. She has created the visual identity and cover artworks for musicians such as the Heaven collective (@h34v3n_2020) artists, logos for fashion establishments such as Faith Tokyo (@faithtokyo), and she has also revamped the logo for Chorareii in 2022. After working with her, I wanted to delve into her pleasant world of unique colors and textures.
Chorareii: First, introduce yourself!
AsahiNa: I’m AsahiNa (@_asahina__), I was born in 2000 in Yamanashi Prefecture, and I love dogs.
Is it true that you are a self-taught artist and designer?
I attended art college for about a year, but school was not for me. I like to learn but I’m impatient, so self-study is a very suitable choice for me.
Your creations show a luminous world. There are bright colors, mainly light pink and sky blue. It looks like a world where there is no darkness. Does this world reflect your personality? Are you also an optimistic, luminous person?
My art is closer to reflecting an environment rather than a personality. When I create a piece of artwork, I set the coloring as the part of the work that is “me”.
I want to create motifs and themes that I think are beautiful at the time. I also see it’s a natural thing that what I like changes.
Tell me about these colors that are “you”? Do they also change?
If I think about what doesn’t change, that is the past environment I grew up in, and the colors are tied to that. The colors I saw in the morning sunrise in my hometown until I was 18, in Pretty Cure, Sailor Moon, etc., which I loved as a child.
Why did you choose this way of expressing yourself?
For me, 3D and digital techniques are new methods of expression that I use only as tools because I want to see something new.
Textures are very important in your work: water, glass, metal… Nowadays, most of us spend more time looking at our cell phones than at the details of the real world, such as the textures of the things around us. Do you draw more inspiration from the real world or the digital one?
In my case, it is absolutely the real world. In a world saturated with things, I believe that what is important for creators living today is the culture of the mixture.
I try to reflect motifs that are close to what I have seen in reality. This is also the reason why my works are less abstract.
You have presented your creations in exhibitions, you have edited a book, and designed clothes. Why have you transferred your digital creations to the offline world?
I believe that the strength of digital art is the ability to print the artworks on various materials and places.
However, this can also be a disadvantage. For example, it may result in a lower value being placed on the digital work than in analog form.
Do you feel that it is still difficult to make the value of digital art understood?
I am always thinking about the meaning of things and about myself. I believe that any weakness that may exist in my creative activities can be turned into a strength.
Rather, by understanding my weaknesses and acting in a way that makes them my strengths, my identity and the meaning of what I do will be strengthened. I think that consciously creating feminine coloring is also connected to this.
You are presenting a new project these days. Please tell me about it.
Since the beginning of April, I have been holding a traveling exhibition under the title <ethereal>. In this project, I created the AsahiNa version of the Major Arcana – 22 patterns of Tarot cards.
I will add more works after the 2 months of the exhibition, and all 22 cards will be available at a solo exhibition to be held in Tokyo in June.
I am planning to actually make and sell the deck, and am working on a plan so that anyone can hold the cards in their hands and read tarot readings at the exhibition in June.