TIDE

Existential house cats in nostalgic monochrome.

Japanese artist TIDE, real name Tatsuhiro Ide, was born in 1984 and currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Did you know?

Following a period spent rendering seascapes in pencil, TIDE began using acrylic paint to coat a stuffed animal that belonged to his daughter, which he placed against a graphic, monochromatic background – a precedent he later reversed with simplistic figures set in elaborate surrounds.

Influences

One of TIDE's foremost artistic influences is the Japanese manga artist Shigeru Mizuki and his Yokai (ghosts of folklore), specifically recalling a work titled NonNonBa.

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Practice overview

TIDE’s painting and sculpture has one mysterious protagonist at its heart – a cartoon cat. The monochromatic palette used throughout summons a sense of nostalgia, a considered choice by the artist which emboldens his romanced renditions of childhood hopes and dreams. TIDE experiments with depth and scale, often juxtaposing his flat, two-dimensional felines with three-dimensional backgrounds filled with detailed greyscale brushwork. To create the works, he paints with acrylic on canvas and sculpts using vinyl, ceramic and porcelain. Inspired by the modernist French Intimist painters who depicted scenes from everyday family life, TIDE often places his characters in familiar domestic settings. The Pop Art of Roy Lichtenstein has also had a notable impact on his work, along with the Young British Artists and manga by Shigeru Mizuki. TIDE also works within the orbit of Japanese Superflat, a contemporary movement blending ancient artistic traditions with the hyper-consumerist sheen of contemporary urban aesthetics.

At the heart of TIDE’s work is a philosophy of dualism, a constant play between light and dark, humour and seriousness, innocence and melancholy. While the environments of his paintings are often secure, private spaces, each piece is imbued with disquiet undertones created through careful aesthetic contradictions. In paintings like Beast (2020) and Do Not Disturb (2020), for example, the adult-like facial expressions are contrasted by the cat’s child-like stature. Through such existential characterisation, TIDE brings complex human emotions to the fore, attesting a yearning for a simpler, youthful time that, for most of us, has already passed.

"I don’t think about color. I like to express beautiful silhouettes which become blurred through color, and the impact fades.”TIDE