These Japanese Portraits Will Take Your Breath Away

If you’re a fan of Japanese animation, Yuka Sakuma’s art will inspire you. The main motifs of her work are young women whose delicate features make for a stunning effect.

Her illustrations showcase most inner emotions, from secrecy and apathy to melancholia. As she says: “Their souls are too immature to be strong and blunt, and the momentary beauty attracts me as it is being lost as they grow up.”

Sakuma’s favorite style is “Nihonga” (Japanese-style painting). Artists of Nihonga use colored pigments made from powdered ores and seashells. The pigments are solidified with glue and colored hemp paper. Compared to tubed colors, it takes lots of time and effort to make Nihonga paintings. However, she enjoys the effort, treating the act of making art as sacred.

Sakuma’s artwork stands on an exquisite balance between perfection and inferiority. She says that she sometimes feels as if she is only working to please the girls on the canvas, so that she can keep them within it.