"I take scenes which you may see every day, and I aim to create a different world by adding something else."

This is how Japanese illustrator Hiromu。(hiromu-maru) humbly describes his astonishing works which he illustrates in pen and colors in Photoshop.

With the city as his backdrop, many of his illustrations convey a world where usual concepts of space and dimensions are confused. On the one hand, air and water seem to merge seamlessly, allowing whales and other aquatic creatures to freely roam. On the other, giant flowers appear in the heart of Tokyo.

At times, the presence of these extraordinary elements is destructive: whales collide with buildings, giant blossoms explode into being or grow out of skyscrapers in a post-apocalyptic landscape. At other times, people seem to go on with their everyday lives, with the extraordinary events occurring around them.

And yet, even with all these astonishing things happening to the city, the overarching tone is not one of fear, danger or dread, but of curiosity, amazement, and perhaps even acceptance of a new reality.

Selection of works

With the artist's kind permission, here are a few of his illustrations:

美しい世界 (Beautiful world)

Reproduced with permission from © Hiromu。

ふたりが過ごす時間 (The time the two spend together)

Reproduced with permission from © Hiromu。

海がはじまる (The ocean is beginning)

In this illustration, we see a couple holding onto each other while watching as whales crash into buildings in front of them.

Caption: "Don't worry, it's only the ocean beginning."

Reproduced with permission from © Hiromu。

Of course, it's up to interpretation, but if we are to be reassured at the ocean "beginning" in the city, perhaps there's a message here about our relationship with Mother Nature.

In any case, from the painstaking work he puts into drawing the whales in all their detail and the way they are depicted, not as conscious aggressors in this urban landscape, but rather as creatures behaving normally as if they were in their natural habitat, it's clear that Hiromu。truly appreciates and respects these majestic denizens of the ocean.

時の交差地点 (The intersection of time)

Caption: "It is said that some bowhead whales can live for as long as 100 or 200 years. From our human perspective, I think that they truly transcend time."

Reproduced with permission from © Hiromu。

季節の境目 (The turn of the season)

Caption: "A pod of whales swimming through a sea of buildings"

Reproduced with permission from © Hiromu。

If you'd like to enjoy more of Hiromu。's works, you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Pixiv or Tumblr.

He also has two art books on sale on Booth and T-shirts featuring his artwork on Artistreet Tokyo.

By - Ben K.