Tuesday Feb 07, 2023
A Japanese DJ has found a new calling making freaky flesh-like accessories such as severed finger ink stamps, pendants with blinking eyes and purses with gaping mouths and stubble, inspired by horror movie special effects.
After his first artwork in 2017 was pictured on the cover of his debut album — a music mixer wrapped in a silicon flesh coating — Masataka Shishido, also known as DJ Doooo, has been commissioned to make dozens of other offbeat creations.
"In the beginning, almost everyone felt it was gross," Shishido, 36, told Reuters, wearing a disco ball with a blinking eye on a chain around his neck.
"Once people learnt that it's an artwork with some specific function, they started saying that it's cute and interesting."
Shishido says his art is often made-to-order by customers who request their own body parts on the items. He draws the designs by hand before a Tokyo studio called Amazing Studio JUR takes up to two months to turn the concept into reality.
The bespoke items do not come cheap: USB devices and the ink stamps in the shape of fingers cost around 150,000 yen ($1,166), while the disco ball he wears costs about 580,000 yen ($4,500).
His art has caught the attention of celebrities, Shishido said. American rapper Lil Yachty posted a video of himself clutching one of his blinking balls on social media in 2021.
Out on the streets of Tokyo, his creations also turn heads.
"It's like so realistic that it definitely takes you by surprise," said Laura Teale, 22, an Australian tourist who stopped to ask Masataka about the artwork hanging from his neck near the capital's bustling Shibuya Crossing.
"I feel it's too real. I feel a little bit gross, but it's really cool," she said.