Nao Nakamura was born and lives in Osaka, Japan. From the age of three she studied extensively under various artists and experts in drawing, painting, Chinese inks, monochrome designs, watercolors, oil paints, cardboard matting and collage. She worked in one of the top fashion companies in Japan for years before deciding to use her training and passion for art to create her own made-to-order leather artworks company, NEON. Since 2010, she has been based out of New York with ten previous exhibitions.
I think of my art as akin to tattooing one's skin because of the connotations it evokes; it's permanent, everlasting, cannot be erased, and genuine. My art is not stamping or branding leather, or simply painting images on canvas. For me, using paper or canvas is not daring or courageous enough: like last year's fashions, it could easily be replaced, mass-produced, or thrown out.
My unique process combines the idea of traditional Japanese tattoo art (its history, techniques,
and images), and elements of modern Western tattoo culture: integrating aspects of both these worlds, my work seeks to merge and transform them into a new kind of higher art.