The Dark Art Emporium Presents “Dakuato” & “12 Inches of Wood”

“Loveless” by Meimaro

“Dakuato” is the newest exhibition at The Dark Art Emporium in Long Beach, California, presenting the work of three artists hailing from Japan — Meimaro, Ren Hoshi and Niku. Also on display is “12 Inches of Wood,” a collection of provocative erotic art. Read on for a closer look at the artists and their intriguing and macabre creations.

It was a full house for the debut night of the art show. This event was my introduction to the gifted Japanese female artists featured in “Dakuato,” who each had a wall dedicated to her pieces. I was even fortunate enough to meet two of them, Meimaro and Ren Hoshi.

Meimaro
Photo with artist Meimaro and her creations for the “Dakuato” exhibit

Meimaro is a self-taught artist who began painting in 2014. She has participated in several art exhibits in Tokyo, Japan, where she currently resides, and made her U.S. debut in 2016 in the group exhibition “Bijinga & Mythology” at Building Bridges Art Exchange in Santa Monica, California. Her fascination with blood and internal organs figures prominently in her work, and she also experiments with the concept of jealousy. The women in her paintings are naked and exposed, emanating a grotesque beauty. In an interview with Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, she explained with this series she wanted to depict the transience of love and explore restraint.

Photo with artist Ren Hoshi and her collection for the
Photo with artist Ren Hoshi and her collection for the “Dakuato” exhibit

Ren Hoshi ventured into the art realm in 2014 and has showcased her work throughout Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. She describes her illustrations as having two contrasting themes, disruption and benevolence. Her creations for “Dakuato” pop with vibrant color and depict mutilated figures, either feasting on meat or being feasted on. The drawings appear to highlight our fixation with the flesh. She has said that because she feels she is not good at communicating with people, she utilizes her art to express and open herself to others.

Works by artist Niku for
Works by artist Niku for “Dakuato” exhibit

Niku has been an active artist since 2013. Her designs reflect memories from her past and emotional turmoil she has experienced. These unite to lay bare the darkness within her. The figures in here paintings reminded me of demented dolls looking out at the observer with huge eyes. They look magical and devious. She also heavily relies on the colors black, red and white in her drawings, and the effect is mesmerizing.

12 Inches of Wood
“12 Inches of Wood” Erotic Art Show

On the side wall of the gallery was the erotic art show “12 Inches of Wood” sponsored by Trekell Art Supplies. Arranged in a horizontal line, the series is made up of works on wood panels by 12 artists. The pieces uncover the multifaced nature of sexuality and are simultaneously humorous, playful and naughty.

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Both “Dakuato” and “12 Inches of Wood” will be on display until the end of February and there is no charge to see the exhibits. There are also pieces still up for grabs if you’d like to claim one as your own. You can find more information at The Dark Art Emporium official website.

To find out more about Meimaro, Ren Hoshi and Niku, visit their site Art du Marché.

5 thoughts on “The Dark Art Emporium Presents “Dakuato” & “12 Inches of Wood”

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  1. As a fan of J-Horror movies, I’d probably enjoy this exhibit.

    With my innate penchant for telling puns, the first thought that occurred to me when I saw part of the title for this exhibit “12 Inches of Wood” was “Wow, that explains how Ed Jr. was able to convince 1950s horror TV show hostess Vampira to appear in his film Plan 9 From Outer Space.”

    1. The art is definitely reminiscent of Japanese horror. And, I also couldn’t help but liken it to the anime series Castlevania and Vampire Hunter D.

      Yes, how funny! Now that you mention it, a Vampira & Ed Wood painting would have been fun to see in there.

  2. Remarkable exhibit, both in terms of subject matter and of its novelty . Naturally, a vein of “The Other” always has pulsed beneath Japanese culture – one of my collections of unnerving tales includes a 16th-century Japanese ghost story – though these pieces shock, in a good (exciting) way. Especially striking from a society which, even to this day, places such importance on “proper” decorum. Thanks for having such a great eye for the intriguing!

      1. Absolutely. Japanese culture still isn’t widely-known for horror but shows like “Dakuato,” etc. may open some eyes. Particularly when you report, and “outsiders” like us discuss it. Just a trickle at first…

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