Ryo Arai
b.1958; Tokyo, Japan.Graduate of Art from Bunka Gakuin and Sculpture at Musashino Art School, Arai is a rare figurative artist in Japan. He opened his own studio “Kobo Monmo” in Kawagoe City, Saitama in 1989 and focused on making the traditional local craft “Kawagoe Hariko” consisting mostly of masks, figurines such as the maneki-neko (welcoming cat). With the introduction of his “Bakemonotsuzura” (Monster bag) series in 1996 his works began to include Japanese monster themes. His style of papier-mâché realism is well known as book cover designs for the popular writer Kyogoku Natsuhiko which he has been creating since 1998.