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PEOPLEText: Taketo Oguchi

Chika Shirakawa, who was born in Oita and now living in Fukuoka, drew attention when she exhibited last year for the first time at Unknown Asia 2019, an international art fair that attracted more than 13,000 visitors and about 290 next-generation creators from Asia and across the countries. Shirakawa’s pop colors and compositions create an unique worldview, featuring her original main character “Srijawa”.

© Chika Shirakawa

First of all, please introduce yourself.

I am Chika Shirakawa from Oita and I live in Fukuoka. I was born in 1984. After graduating from Fukuoka Design School, I worked in printing, advertising design, and children’s shoe design. And now I am working at a continuous employment supporting center that supports people with disabilities, teaching crafts while I am working on my own creative projects.

floating, Chika Shirakawa, 2019, 100 × 100 mm, Acrylic paint, Oil paint marker

It’s been a tough year, but has there been any major changes in your life or work?

In my main job, it was a big change to work on welfare tasks that I had never been involved in at all. But in my creative work, there was little change.

I’m worried that I don’t seem to have any worries, Chika Shirakawa, 2019, 25 × 25 mm, Acrylic paint, Oil paint marker

Please tell us about the works that you exhibited at Unknown Asia 2019. It was the first time you’ve presented a large number of works, mainly of characters, right? How was the response?

The character itself had appeared in many events and exhibitions, but Unknown Asia was the first time I had created and presented a character with a solid composition for display, so I was very anxious about how people would react to it. But thankfully, I was very happy to see that people were interested in the mysterious characters, and I was able to see many moments that my work made people smile.

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