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These drawings by Japanese New Media artist Macoto Murayama give us an insight into the staggeringly intricate architecture of the plant world. Murayama’s synthetic images combine the soft organic forms of flowers with the cold aesthetic of technical sketches. Through the use of cutting edge software and 3D modeling, his work blurs the boundaries between art and science bringing botanical illustrations into the digital age.
The creation process begins with careful research of the plant. Murayama dissects the flower, taking multiple close-up photos and drawing sketches of its parts. Next, he applies several layers of software – 3D Studio Max for the form and structure, Photoshop for the separate parts and composition and Illustrator to add indications of elements, scale and scientific names. Finally he makes a large scale digital c-print, which is framed in transparent plexiglas.
Last year’s solo exhibition of his work, ‘Inorganic Flora’, at the Frantic Gallery in Japan presented his work in a historical context, citing his inspirations and drawing comparisons with both technical and botanical art – from the botanical illustrations of ancient Greece to the works of master of automobile illustration Yoshihiro Inomoto.