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MOTAS is a Japanese artistic collective in operation since 2012. BOYA and TOMO, its two members, live and work in Japan. Together, they decline on canvas, but also through murals and serial objects (skateboards, clothes, etc.), a character with simple and cartoonish shapes: BLEYE. 

Taken in all sorts of situations, from the most ordinary to the most unusual, it has the shape of both a man and a hand, and moves in a bubbling family daily life sometimes tinged with dreamlike or melancholy, he confronts the perpetually curved middle finger. A delicious way of showing that we all walk with a weight on our shoulders, and of sketching through the peregrinations of an overwhelmed adult the immutable foundations of the human condition: love, family, friendship, sadness and joy...

The singular style of MOTAS is the fruit of a slow maturation. Before their association, BOYA and TOMO practiced graffiti and tattooing for one, animation for the other. Heir to comics, cartoons, graphic design and abstract painting, their universe draws on a wide range of inspirations: the lowbrow and punk iconography of Ed Roth, SHAG or Raymond Pettibon, American writing and sign painting, the traditional Japanese tattoos of Horiyoshi III, the cartoons of Hayao Miyazaki or even the techno-pop music of Ryuichi Sakamoto, founding member of the group Yellow Magic Orchestra.

Since the formation of MOTAS, BOYA and TOMO synthesize these various influences to create in all forms and in all kinds of contexts works combining typography, illustration and abstraction. They then alternate original creations, collaborations with brands and orders for logos, derivative products and graphic design. They also imagine from the outset the prototypical elements of BLEYE, which will evolve over the years to acquire a real narrative depth. Gradually, the character takes on the appearance of a living being. Its ability to come alive and elicit empathy is the result of a close association between the two members of the duo. TOMO conceives the narrative framework and the adventures, which BOYA first puts into images in the form of drawings. TOMO then defines the colors and the desaturated atmosphere of the sketches that will unfold the adventures of BLEYE. “We felt that the canvas was the right support to decline our character”, explain the members of MOTAS. It is therefore mainly on canvas, but in a graphic vocabulary steeped in animation, that he evolves in the midst of his family.


Solo Exhibition

At SORTone, Tokyo, April 2021
At Seibu Shibuya, Tokyo, December 2021
At JO YANA GALLERY, France, July 2022
At Hankyu Umeda, Osaka, August 2022
At Seibu Ikebukuro, Tokyo, September 2022
At VINS Gallery, Taiwan, December 2022