As one of Japan’s most important creative minds, Takeda Hideo’s work invariably speaks both to the past and the present, and to audiences globally. Over his long career, Takeda has inhabited multiple identities and worked with innumerable media. His art is firmly rooted in the creative potential inherent in crossing boundaries and the freedom that comes with the refusal to be categorized. As a satirist, cartoonist, print-maker, photographer, illustrator, comedian, provocateur, and as both a citizen of Japan and a citizen of the world at large, the only persistent qualities of Takeda’s artistic output are flexibility, adaptation, and surprise.
Born in Osaka in 1948, Takeda was accepted to the prestigious Tama Art University, where he completed his degree in sculpture. It was his drawings and works on paper, however, that propelled Takeda into the spotlight, and shortly after graduation he received the prestigious Bungei-Shunju Cartoon Award in 1976. Combining the aesthetics of traditional prints, western cartoons, and textile patterns, Takeda’s prints are startling, boldly graphic, often surreal, and subtly beautiful. After a career of more than forty years, Takeda enjoyed a one-man show at the British Museum and his work can be found in the permanent collections of multiple prestigious institutions.