Artist Keita Morimoto captures the often overlooked beauty of nocturnal life in his series titled Garden of Light. The alluring paintings are set against the backdrop of the artist’s home in Canada and are inspired by the instances of kaleidoscopic color that appear after dark. “My recent interest was to explore whether it’s possible to capture a feeling of urban spaces with the use of figures that echo a sense of city lights and colors,” Morimoto explains in a statement, “while simultaneously depicting a sense of populating and inhabiting with or without figures within the city.”
Morimoto is particularly intrigued by the sense of secrecy and quiet that the evening brings, and he uses it as the stage for his enigmatic subjects. “While every figure is nearly being fused into the urban spaces,” Morimoto writes, “all the figures I’ve chosen in this series who are still all peers of mine seem to me that they display expressions of both ambivalence and tranquility.”
The series’ namesake piece is a stunning eighteen-foot triptych of downtown Toronto. Although the painting is designed as a continuous panorama, each section shows Toronto at a different time of the day. Its all-encompassing view sets the foundation for the series while the other paintings delve into more intimate scenes and portraits—including several works that are a nod to Edward Hopper’s masterpiece, Nighthawks. Morimoto’s Night Gazers, for example, references Hopper’s painting directly and shows three figures in front of a grocery store—seemingly caught in between purpose and boredom.
Scroll down to see more paintings from Morimoto’s Garden of Light, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest creations.