WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts Exhibition at Japan House London

Inspired by an annual exhibition under the same name in Tokyo and curated by the same curators, Hiro Sugiyama and Takahashi Kintarō, ‘WAVE’ exhibition displays artworks from Japan’s most significant graphic artists.

Many of the artists are heavily influenced by anime and manga and well-known for their iconic designs and collaborations with the most famous brands.



Wave: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts | 📍Japan House London | 6 July – 22 Oct 2023 | Free to visit. Just a book a time slot | #japanhouselondon #waveexhibition #japanesegraphicdesign #japaneseart #animemanga #urbanadventures #londonadventures

♬ Japan Vibes – Sukonjura


WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts

Japan House London | 101-111 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA


WAVE- Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts

Photo: Urban Adventurer


WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts represents a selection of 60 well-known and emerging Japanese artists.

The artworks displayed in the exhibition include elements of pop art, surrealism, and illustration, representing a variety of styles and artistic backgrounds from artists from their early twenties to their late eighties.


Inspired by Anime/Manga


Art by Kageyama Tōru at WAVE- Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts Exhibition

 Kageyama Tōru:  Sharaku

Photo: Urban Adventurer


Among the artworks on display, you’ll find many artists heavily inspired by anime and manga, such as Kageyama Tōru who is best known for his book cover designs in Japan. Besides anime and manga his main influence are European and Chinese landscapes, as well as 18th century Japan’s ukiyo-e woodblock print tradition.


Art by Hayakawa Motohiro at WAVE Exhibition Japan House

Hayakawa Motohiro: X Planet Battles

Photo: Urban Adventurer


Hayakawa Motohiro’s bold and colourful paintings represent vintage sci-fi heroes, aliens and robots in psychedelic, dreamlike landscapes. His illustrations and characters are heavily engaging with comic-style battle scenes.


Art by Terada Katsuya at WAVE Exhibition Japan House

Terada Katsuya (Untitled)

Photo: Urban Adventurer


Terada Katsuya is an anime and manga artist who designed characters for video games, Japanese animated films and series and worked on some of the most famous American comics: Iron Man and Hellboy.

Artist Oki-chu’s unmissable style is called ‘automatism’ and he is known for his elaborated pen and pencil drawings. His primary influences are the world of anime and manga and video games. This influence is tangible in his artworks.


Japan’s Leading Artists and Illustrators


Art by Tanaami Keiichi at WAVE Exhibition Japan House

Tanaami Keiichi: Shōnen Tiger 02, Shonen Oja, Shōnen Tiger 01

Photo: Urban Adventurer



Visitors have the privilege to see original artworks from Japan’s leading illustrators and commercial illustrators.

Tanaami Keiichi is one of Japan’s leading pop artists. He has worked as a graphic designer since 1960s. He is an illustrator, and video artist, showing his artwork in numerous exhibitions in Japan and abroad.


Art by Maki Kahori at WAVE Exhibition Japan House

Maki Kahori: Meditative Flower

Photo: Urban Adventurer


Maki Kahori is best known for her incredibly detailed flowers and plants motifs. She has collaborated with the biggest brands, such as Apple and Adobe Systems.


Uno Akira is one of Japan’s leading artists and illustrators, best known for his timeless characters and fantasy scenes.


Yamaguchi Harumi is a leading name in Japanese advertising. She is known for her female character, ‘Harumi Gals’. A glamours, strong, confident, and active female figure free from traditional feminine roles.


Hanai Yusuke’s name might be familiar to many of us by his collaboration with Vans. Hanai is influenced by beatnik, hippie and surf culture. In his artworks, he depicts an adventurous, wanderlust lifestyle.


Art by Ichijō Hikaru at WAVE Exhibition Japan House

Ichijō Hikaru: Twins

Photo: Urban Adventurer


Ichijō Hikaru, influenced by print technology and designs bold images of athletic female figures. She has collaborated with Nike and Calbee.


Book Cover Design by tupera tupera at WAVE Exhibition Japan House

Book cover design by tupera tupera

Photo: Urban Adventurer


Tupera Tupera, a designer team of husband and wife, have created some of Japan’s most popular children’s books, including ‘Shirokuma no pantsu’ (Polar Bear’s Underpants).

The book is available to purchase in the shop of Japan House.


‘Heta-Uma’ – Ugly but Beautiful


Art by Yumura Teruhiko at WAVE Exhibition Japan House

Yumura Teruhiko: GONZO’S Underground Mix Vol.7

Photo: Urban Adventurer



‘Heta-Uma’ movement (translated as ‘bad but good’) also represents itself at ‘WAVE’. ‘Heta-Uma’ movement emerged in the 1970s thanks to a manga magazine, called GARO. ‘Heta-Uma’ challenges our perspective of what is ‘ugly’ and what is ‘beautiful’. It asks the question: can something that is considered to be ugly, be beautiful at the same time?


Make Your Own WAVE Badge Workshop


Badge Making Workshop - WAVE Exhibition Japan House

Photo: Urban Adventurer


A fun badge-making workshop is connected to the exhibition where you can choose from a number of ready-made badge designs based on the 60 different artworks featured in the exhibition or use your creativity and create your own.

Book your session here.


AKIRA Restaurant


'Heta-Uma' Cocktail - Inspired by WAVE Exhibition

‘Heta-Uma’ Colour-Changing Cocktail inspired by WAVE Exhibition at AKIRA Restaurant

Photo: Urban Adventurer


Make sure you visit AKIRA Restaurant upstairs for amazing bento boxes and try the new exhibition-inspired colour-changing cocktail: ‘Heta-Uma’


‘Heta-Uma’ Cocktail

Orange-infused shōchū, sake, star anise, and blue curaçao are shaken over ice, before being poured into glass filled with ice and lined with grenadine. Next, lichee and yuzu juice added to the blend to form a white cloud in your glass. Finally, the cocktail is garnished with a raspberry soaked in absinthe and set light in front of your eyes.

Mix the cocktail well to see it changes colour from dreamy blue to vivid orange.


Bento Box at AKIRA Restaurant Japan House

Bento Box at AKIRA Restaurant – Japan House

Photo: Urban Adventurer


TIP: From Tue – Fri AKIRA Restaurant offers £10 OFF* their signature bento boxes at lunchtime. *Online booking only.


Practical Info


Art by Moriguchi Yūji at WAVE Japan House

Moriguchi Yūji: ~ Denouement ~

Photo: Urban Adventurer




Opening Dates/Times

 6th July – 22nd October 2023

Mon-Sat: 10am-8pm

Sun & bank holidays: 12pm – 6pm



Japan House London | 101-111 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA



Admission is FREE | Booking recommended on Japan House’s website





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