City with Shining Neon Lights, Hollywood, America by Norimitsu Kokubo

Norimitsu Kokubo

Shiga Prefecture, Japan | b. 1995

Norimitsu Kokubo has been drawing since childhood. He drew in his school notebooks, but also on the backs of calendars, flyers and any paper available to him. His drawings are meticulous maps of the urban and industrial world—ordered and highly detailed environments. He conducts extensive online research to study his subjects, often global cities, like Hollywood or Pyongyang, so that he can accurately include their key landmarks and structures. His work over the past five years has expanded in scale, until some have reached over thirty feet in length. He describes that at times his drawings become overwhelming to him because he feels he may never finish them.

Kokubo’s drawings are also an outlet for his feelings. Colors and lines darken and lighten as his feelings change. His obsessive attention to detail and the extraordinary scope of his work indicate the impact of his unique way of experiencing the world upon his artistic vision. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Japan, England and France.

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Pyongyang International Airport Terminal Building, Sunan Street, Lenin Street, Thoughts/The Red Square in Russia, Kremlin Presidential Residence, Presidential Palace, Graves of the Past Emporers, and the Palace

Year: date unknown

Medium: Mixed media

Dimensions (in): 8.1×55.1

Courtesy of the Artist

The complete work is comprised of two large drawings on either side of a sheet of one piece of paper. Both are drawn with a great level of density, with hardly any space left blank. The artist has drawn thousands of very detailed, very small objects that lead the viewer to imagine that it must have taken the artist a significant amount of time and focus to create this complex work of art.

Most visible on the side representing the Pyongyang International Airport is a row of large airplanes some with a majority of their noses pointed downward. The artist has drawn many people all across the drawing, many with luggage. There are also cars, buses, buildings, shops, and signs written in Korean, English, and Japanese. One of the buildings has fancy golden domed spires.

The side representing The Red Square in Russia shows a landscaped of close-packed buildings, some of which have Soviet flags flying on top of them. Several of the areas in the landscape are drawn with different orientations, giving the impression that the canvas and placement of the artist was changed throughout its creation. Both the bottom and top edges of the drawing are lined with statues; those at the top of the canvas are drawn upside down. There is a row of police cars near the lower left-hand of the canvas. In the upper left corner of the canvas are several rows of people.

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City with Shining Neon Lights, Hollywood, America

Year: 2012

Medium: Mixed media

Dimensions (in): 15.0×20.9

Courtesy of the Artist

ArtPrize Vote Code: 68594

The work comprises a dense drawing in colored pencil, outlined in marker. The artist has drawn thousands of very detailed, very small objects that lead the viewer to imagine both the time and focus it must have taken the artist to create this complex work of art. The drawing is rendered in all sorts of fantastically bright colors, unbound by any semblance of reality. Its most prominent feature is its vehicles. Boats and ships occupy the upper left, with land vehicles occupying most of the rest of the drawing. Buses, cars,

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Border Town in Wisconsin

Year: 2014

Medium: Mixed media

Dimensions (in): 11.0×31.5

Courtesy of the Artist

The work comprises a large dense drawing in colored pencil, outlined in marker. The artist has drawn thousands of very detailed, very small objects that lead the viewer to imagine both the time and focus it must have taken the artist to create this complex work of art. The drawing’s subject is an urban landscape. The drawing is rendered in all sorts of fantastically bright colors, unbound by any semblance of reality. There’s a multitude of vehicles and people, interspersed with commercial buildings of all types. Signs are scattered throughout, advertisements for businesses as well as road signs. Palm trees too dot the landscape. All these features of the drawing assume any and all orientations—regardless of the perspective you take, some objects will be represented upside-down or sideways.

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