Hitomi Maehashi, born in 1989 is the queen of Digital Painting of Photography. She is an exponent of the art school in Nagoya (Aichi Art School), that is one of the most famous in Japan for the visual arts and painting. This school was also attended by the Master of the Superflat Kawaii Yoshitomo Nara and from the Pop artist Tomoko Nagao.
The technique used by Hitomi is surprising: digital painting on photography. A step that goes beyond Photoshop, more than photo retouching and painting computer graphics: it is an innovative technique, meticulous and well representative of the new artistic trends of POP in Japan. Her images represent ordinary people, often represents herself, but with a strong cultural connotation from the Japanese Comics books (mostly manga genre SHOJO, manga for girls, feminine taste but they have also been successful in the West) and the handy feature of the "cosplay" literally "custom player", where many girls and boys dress up as cartoon characters or heroes, mixing this “street culture" trend with a practice called "kigurumi".
The artist declared to the blog Nipposuggestioni:
I make artworks in a real world, not in a fantasy world. However there is a gap between the reality I feel everyday and the reality that you can see in my photos. I often make photos using myself as model and I transmit the world I see in that photo; in this way I create my art: I transform eyes and figures, keeping a realistic image but with big eyes and porcelain skin such as dolls and Vinyl Toys of my culture. Although this is unnatural for others, it is a natural way for me. Reality and fantasy are mixed together without borders and I also lose the trace of what is real and what is a lie.