“Combine” Art by Robert Rauschenberg and Shintaro Ohata

Each visual artist specializes in their own chosen media where they can express themselves the most. Some are gifted in painting or sculpture, while others showcase their artistic prowess through photography or drawing. There are also artists who make their artwork unique and interesting by using mixed media.


Robert Rauschenberg, known to be as the first postmodern artist, took mixed-media art to the next level with his “Combines.” Rauschenberg is an American painter and graphic artist who pioneered “Combine” art, where he incorporated various objects into and onto a painted canvas surface, creating a painting and sculpture hybrid. Born in 1925, his highly acclaimed “Combine” works include Canyon (a painting that features a taxidermied eagle, a pillow, among other elements) and Monogram (a “Combine” work of a stuffed goat with its midsection passing through an automobile tire) both from 1959.


Among today’s top artists, Japanese painter Shintaro Ohata stands at the forefront of the “Combine” art scene with his breathtaking depiction of Japanese everyday life. Ohata, born in Hiroshima, Japan, is well-known for combining 2D and 3D worlds in his own unique style. How he captures all the kinds of lights in a person’s life, going from artificial to natural, from sunrise to sunset, contributes to the originality and aesthetic of his works.


Shelter from the rain by Shintaro Ohata

Shelter from the rain | YUKARI ART

At a glance, his work looks like a one-medium art piece, rather than being a cohesive combination of painting and sculpture. Commonly referred to nowadays as “3D art” instead of “Combine art” from Rauschenberg’s time, Ohata’s pieces work as a great representation of how there’s no limit to art through the combination of media, typically acrylic on canvas for the painting, and mixed media for the sculpture. You can easily see how the paintings are brought to life by the sculptures. How Ohata makes everything blend so seamlessly in both texture and color rely solely on his eye and skills as an artist. For sure he is able to capture the audience’s attention through the way he stunningly captures both movement and light.


Prism by Shintaro Ohata


According to YUKARI ART – the representative of Ohata and of five other Japanese contemporary artists, Ohata said, “I believe that the viewers could feel the atmosphere of my works more lively and dynamically. I had been seeking for a way to give more realistic feel on my piece without changing my painting style, and then I got inspired by the painting in the backgrounds of film and theatre. This was when I came up with the idea of making sculptures popping out of paintings.”


Vapor trail by Shintaro Ohata

Vapor trail | YUKARI ART

From 2004 to 2017, Ohata has been a part of multiple solo and group exhibitions and art fairs all throughout Japan and worldwide. He was also a recipient of several awards with the latest being the Celeste Prize 2009, Shortlisted Prize for installation & sculpture.


Hydrangea by Shintaro Ohata

Hydrangea | YUKARI ART