Seasons' Greetings

A Year in the World of Natsko Seki

Natsko Seki’s blissful images of blooming cityscapes are influenced by her magpie-like sense of nostalgia. Picking through source material found at vintage markets, she brings together textures from old manuscript paper, watercolor paintings and selections from her family photo albums to create a fantasy world teeming with activity. Seki hails from Tokyo and has been commissioned by Japanese clients including Louis Vuitton Japan (for whom she produced a passport-shaped catalogue in 2008) and Vogue Nippon, but she is now based in London, a city whose architecture she loves. “The buildings in Europe are so different from those in Tokyo,” she says, “So I can see them objectively. I find that really inspiring.” Besides London, she has a soft spot for Italy and Finland, her penchant for all things 60s drawing her to the country that brought the world such retro-tinged designers as Marimekko and Alvar Aalto. Style-wise, she also has Scandinavian leanings, citing Danish designer Peter Jensen’s cartoonish creations—aesthetically, not many miles from the clothes worn by her work’s bright, pastel-clad populations. Today’s images, which Seki created to decorate the interior of Japanese delicatessen Tombo in London’s South Kensington, represent the four seasons in Japan: cherry trees blossoming for spring, fireworks for summer, outdoor games for fall and kite-flying for winter. They will be exhibited as part of Pick Me Up, a graphic art showcase at Somerset House in London, beginning on April 23.

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