Studio SoHy’s latest art show brings Japanese culture to ‘tiny hall’

By Krissi Humbard (View full story online on Hyattsville Life and Times)

Studio SoHy has brought another vibrant artist to Hyattsville.

Coming off the community oriented “@OurHyattsville Show” and the powerful and political #womensmarch installation, the newest “tiny hall” show features artwork by Zunzima, aka Takashi Nakajima, a self-trained illustrator who was born and raised in Japan. “Gimme Some Freedom to Draw” showcases seventeen works that are currently on display in Studio SoHy’s space.

The show’s opening reception — with ramen pop-up — will be Saturday during the Downtown Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival. Bronwyn King, co-founder and curator of Studio SoHy, said she wanted the opening to coincide with the arts festival, as Studio SoHy’s contribution.

Zunzima draws inspiration from Japanese pop culture. He includes elements of manga, cartoons, movies and comedy TV shows in his work. His pieces are also infused with Western urban themes, as seen in his graffiti-style typography.

“When you actually walk up close to really look at his intricate drawings, it’s really amazing; all the detail he incorporates into [his work],” King said.

Zunzima works primarily freehand, spending hours detailing his characters. This intense attention to detail is evident in his works, including the large-scale piece entitled “America.”

“I always wanted to make an art piece about the US because, for me, the US is my father who toughened me up; to show my appreciation, I wanted to make a piece about it,” Nakajima said.