The work of Japanese painter, illustrator, and muralist ONEQ is unmistakable. With her iconic fusion of influences from American pin-up art, comics, and Japanese manga, ONEQ's woman-centered artwork instantly draws you in with female figures situated in poses of power and intoxicating beauty. Growing up in a coastal city on the peaceful island of Kyushu in Southeast Japan, the sea has also been a source of inspiration and comfort to the talented artist. That's why she chose the side of an old abandoned ship as her monumental canvas for a recent mural project.
“I performed the ‘OTAKIAGE’ of the ship that has reached the end of its life,” ONEQ explains in the text accompanying images of her gorgeous street art. “People working in the fishing port all have rest in the cool shadow of this ship at lunch break… Here is a very calm and quaint, nice place. A toast to the ship that has been working for a long time.”
A sacred Japanese fire ritual, Otakiage is symbolic of endings and also new beginnings. Fittingly, the artist also chose that as the title of her mural. Painted in luscious hues of pink, red, and purple, her stunning artwork gives the old ship new life, allowing it to serve a different purpose than the one it can no longer perform.