Born in 1977, baanai grew up and is still based in Kugenuma, Fujisawa City, Kanagawa, Japan. baanai’s career as an artist began in 2015 when he sent his portfolio to Rei Kawakubo of COMME des GARÇONS where his work was selected to be used for the brand’s products. Since then, baanai’s work has been featured by various brands and has had a series of successful solo exhibitions. Behind all this glamour, baanai has pursued his art with a relentless and honest approach. His works are created in his own unique style, in which he fills the entire canvas with a persistent repetition of letters, layer by layer, taking the viewer deeper and deeper into the work. These works reflect a number of influences including the artist’s once repressed desire for art, the surfing culture of his hometown Kugenuma, and his experience of collaborating with numerous brands. The overlapping of colors, words and phrases in his works makes us feel as if we are listening to a grand performance of an orchestra. On the other hand, in combination with the strong graffiti elements, the words echo the artist’s wailing, and his works, despite being two-dimensional, constitute a space immediately conveying ‘the rawness’ of the artist.
His solo exhibitions include DOUBLE BED GALLERY, ROPPONGI TSUTAYA BOOKS 2F BOOK GALLERY (Tokyo, 2020), Capillaries, Isetan Shinjuku Store Men’s Building 2F Men’s Creators ‘ART UP’ (Tokyo, 2020), and inaiinaibaanai, Isetan Shinjuku Store Men’s Building 2F Men’s Creators ‘ART UP’ (Tokyo, 2019). Since 2015, his artwork has been used by COMME des GARÇONS for Paris Fashion Week, their DM catalog, clothing, and shopping bags, amongst others. Since then, he has also contributed his work to NEW ERA, RVCA, Audio-Technica, CONVERSE SKATEBOARDING, and MINE DENIM.