: :Mooshy for Ohgushi: :

Currently based out of Hayama, Japanese self-taught artist Takeshi Ohgushi, creates depictions of women using ancient Japanese implements of brush and ink. His works are considered contemporary BIJINGA (which means “pictures of beautiful women”) and are made very quickly (see the vid at bottom of the page).

With brushes and ink, the typical Japanese tools of calligraphy, Ohgushi creates these delicate watercolour-like illustrations using rolls and sweeps of sumi ink on traditional Japanese paper.

His unique and beautiful technique didn’t take long to attract the attention of numerous magazines including Vogue Nippon, Numero Tokyo and Elle Japan. He has appeared in art books and exhibitions, made lots of magazine editorials, covers and advertising illustrations as well as having collaborated with fashion houses such as Emilio Pucci, renowned for its vivid print patterns.

He has also in recent years created many advertising images for department stores and fashion brands around the world using original techniques that defy classification under any one genre.

In this interview, PingMag introduces us to a bit of the beautiful and sensual tenderness behind OHGUSHI’s work…

How did you start painting with calligraphy brushes and ink?

When I was 21 years old, I returned to my parents’ house after experiencing a setback in painting and discovered a calligraphy set in the closet – and drew an ink and wash picture of a woman. It felt like the most fun thing I had ever done, and I could feel that it was an intriguingly deep world. So I hoped, albeit only slightly, that even I might be able to get somewhere with it.

What is the attraction of ink for you?

Ink has special characteristics, as it quickly spreads on paper, and so there are special techniques. However, I am more attracted to the fact that it is a medium with a special sense of tension: I have to work quickly and precisely.

In your collaboration with Emilio Pucci, you had models wearing Pucci creations posing for you. What is important when working with them?

I look at the model’s contour and find the line that has the biggest number of subsidiary lines and move my brushes around that main line. The use and the number of brushstrokes become all the more important to make the flow from the contour look beautiful.

Again, why do women and flowers fascinate you so much you keep drawing them?

That can’t be explained reasonably: It makes me want to pick up my brushes when my heart twinges for an allurement. I’m constantly thinking about how to better express the essence of that twinge of heart.

What was a big influence to you?

The first influence I had was illustrator Miyuki Morimoto. When I was 23 years old, I sent her a book of my printed works and she kindly wrote back to me. I met her several times since then and learnt many things from her feminine style. I really have to give her credit for making me the person I am today.

However, right now, I’m more inclined to reflect on myself and immerse in my own sensibilities.

How would you describe your style?

I’d say that it’s a style that expresses that twinge of heart, as I mentioned earlier. Many of my works focus on a single feature – like the face or the lips – but when a beautiful countenance gives me that twinge, everything else, including the surroundings and the details of the hair doesn’t register in my mind. I only draw parts and features, because I want to express that attraction, that moment of the twinge of heart in a more essential way, and I think I can better convey it without dilution that way.

Finally, what would be a challenge for you?

I would like to do a large scale exhibition and the publication of a collection of my works.

Here’s OHGUSHI’s wrap sheet;


Japan / VOGUE

Hong Kong /
Wonderland, The Age of Feminine Drowing, SISTER (Book Cover), Egg

France / TWILL

Canada / Bliss


shu uemura, HARBIS PLAZA ENT, Kanebo.



OHGUSHI 「Particles」(Tokyo,Japan)

Line of Style:
Fashion Illustration/Gallery Nucleus (L.A,USA)




EXPRESS: Illustrating Happiness@ Conpound Gallery (Washington,USA)

+81 10th Anniversary
Exhibition「biishiki」/Esso Gallery(N,Y,USA)

“Hide and Seek” with Hello Kitty Exhibition /The Arts Hous (Singapore)

The apartment loves
Artillery /The Apt (N,Y,USA)


KITTY30th “Hide and Seek” /Hong Kong art center (Hong Kong)

GALLERY (Tokyo,Japan)

NEW YORK ADC 84TH Merit Award (May 2005)

Check out OHGUSHI’s captivating technique below:

Whatcha think?

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