Ancco’s artwork features characters one might find on nursery wallpaper or a poster at a pediatrician’s office. Gnomes, bears, kittens, balloons depicted in primary or pastel colors, seek to restore childhood nostalgia. Annco’s “kawaii” aesthetic does not indicate a naivety in the Tokyo-based artist’s practice however; these works are highly technical renderings of childlike play. Her steadfast exploration of mediums—from risograph printing, 3D nylon figurines, and large scale ceramic works—suggests an interest in the world of manufacturing. Ancco is industrious and methodical in the dissemination of her artistic vision. From her early elementary school days, Ancco began posting her drawings on an “oekaki keijiban,” a type of online message board for drawing equipped with crude Photoshop-like tools. As her practice has developed, Ancco has continued to create images that can be ⌘Z undone and controlled to the nearest millimeter, which is the basis for her obsession with detail.

Ancco’s recent foray into ceramics presented challenges to her penchant for control and precision. “Ceramic art cancels out ideals, for better or worse. It was difficult for me to accept this at first, because I am obsessive and always bound by the feeling that I have to be this way. It was a continuous process of acceptance. It was very similar to accepting myself,” says Ancco. Annco describes the faded colors of her works as intended to convey that had been repaired or aged, that her objects look like children’s playground equipment. “Toys that I used to love are now covered in dust in the corner of my room. I lost interest, but now I wish I could restore them and cherish them. The figures have something engraved in them that is an irreplaceable and precious memory, something that forms the person I am today.” Claire Milbrath

See Annco’s work from her recent show, at Tokyo’s Calm & Punk Gallery.

Images courtesy of Ancco and Tokyo’s Calm & Punk Gallery