Chris Namaizawa - JCAT



  • With an American father and Japanese mother, Chris Namaizawa’s life and livelihood has been based in Tokyo, Japan. Since Japanese culture strongly values group harmony, the Japanese have the tendency to exclude someone appearing different. Thus, it came to Chris as no surprise that during his youth he was labeled a “gaijin (foreigner)” due to his multi-ethnic appearance amongst Japanese society. He cared more about his fashion sense than the judgment regarding his physicality though. He spent the money he saved from working on new clothes in order to distract the attention given to his ethnicity. Moreover, fashion was a means of cultural inclusion for Chris as fashion is an element of great importance in Japanese culture. A major turning point in his life was his encounter with the growing “street-culture” phenomenon and sub culture in Harajuku. After working with a Tokyo based IT company for a number of years, Chris established a fashion brand, which ultimately warranted participation in the “Paris Collection” in France. Eventually, Chris transitioned his career focus to fine art in order to take his creations to a new dimension and medium. Living in the US, he truly became cognizant of the extent to which he camouflaged the characteristics and traits that made him Japanese. Chris’s most current works incorporate this idea of concealed identity and display a camouflaged blend of his two main points of expertise, art and fashion. He has recently collaborated on new collections with various select shops in Japan and abroad. His most current project involved designing shopping bags for several major Tokyo-wide department stores including Lumine.


  • ナマイザワクリスはアメリカ人の父と日本人の母を持ち、幼少期から東京を拠点に生活。「和」を重んじる日本社会では、集団から異質な存在を排除する傾向にある。当然、異質な存在として目立っていたナマイザワクリスは「ガイジン」として日本社会で扱われる。人から見られるが故に外見には人一倍こだわるようになり、アルバイトで貯めたお金はすべてファッションの代金に消えていく。ファッションで目立つことは、ナマイザワクリスが日本社会に溶け込むための自己防衛手段であった。この頃に、裏原宿などのストリートカルチャーに出会い、ファッションや音楽の礎ができる。入社したITの会社でファッションブランドを立ち上げ、パリのコレクションにも参加するブランドにまで成長。より高い次元を目指し、アーティストへ転向、生まれ故郷のサンフランシスコへ渡る。海外の生活から自分がいかに日本で表面的にカモフラージュした日々を送っていたかを痛感。それ以降、カモフラージュをテーマにした作品を発表し続け、コレクションブランドとのコラボレーション、有名セレクトショップのショッピングバッグのデザインなどアートとファッションを融合した作品を国内外で多数発表している。


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About JCAT

JCAT-Japanese Contemporary Artists Team in New York, is a unique, creative team based in Brooklyn, New York. Our mission is to represent young, talented Japanese artists from around the world, and to assist these artists on the path to successful careers.

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170 Tillary St, Suite 105, Brooklyn, NY 11201


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