Japanese Artist Draws Hyperrealistic Paintings That Can Be Confused As Photographs

Kei Mieno, a 33-year-old artist from Hiroshima, Japan creates incredible hyperrealistic oil paintings that have been showcased in multiple exhibitions in Japan as well as in art publications.

Mieno has been painting professionally for over 10 years and graduated from Hiroshima City University’s Faculty of Arts Department of Fine Arts in 2007 with a major in oil painting.

Kei’s work has been showcased in the Shiraishi Exhibition as well as the Hoki Art Museum. Last year, Mieno opened his first solo exhibition. Kei has also placed second in the Hoki Art Museum’s Grand Prize Exhibition.

Kei’s latest work, which he shared on his Twitter and Instagram pages, left his followers stunned. The image titled “As Is, Before Turning Into Words” (translated from Japanese), is an oil painting of a girl laying in a river stream, but it’s almost impossible to tell on first glance that it’s a painting and not a real-life photograph.

The painting of the girl in the stream is not the only one of Mieno’s works that will surprise you. His skill and talent are apparent in all of his work, even the paintings that are not hyperrealistic.

See for example this beauty that is clearly not painted in the same style, but is breathtaking all the same. However, his hyperrealistic oil paintings are getting a lot of attention. He was even featured on Yahoo! News Japan.

Recently, Mieno took to Twitter to share with his followers a painting that he created 15 years ago in order to show his fans the progress he’s made as an artist.

Although the painting is still beautiful, you can clearly tell the difference in skill level between the two paintings and how he’s grown and advanced as an artist. Although Mieno’s paintings are hyperrealistic, he wishes those who see his work to know that he wants to disassociate himself from descriptions like “photo-like” or “photography.”

He recently delivered a statement about his artistic intent, writing: “What emotions am I feeling now, how strong are they, and can they be conveyed in words? The meaning of the words you use is never exactly the same as the meaning they have within someone else’s mind. When turned into words, feelings and impressions end up being translated and transformed into something different. Such reflections are inevitable when you think about something which you truly want to convey.”

He adds: “What I try to draw is the appearance of things exactly the way my eyes see them. There is a difference between the image captured by your eyes and then sent to your brain and the same image captured by your mind. Your emotions and perceptions alter the image’s colors and shapes. By drawing the colors, shapes, and light as they are within me, I hope to convey all that cannot be conveyed by language.”

Mieno is striving for more than to just mimic reality, he is attempting to portray life as he sees it. His patience in reproducing every detail is remarkable. He has posted small clips on his Twitter to let his fans in on the long and arduous, but certainly rewarding, process. For instance, The precision and delicacy with which he draws on his subjects hair are incredible.

In addition to selling his work, Mieno also offers painting workshops on watercolor and oil. When he is not painting or teaching, he picks up his camera to capture actual photos.  

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