Viz Pictures Licenses a Diverse Collection of Insightful New Documentaries Profiling Prominent Japanese Modern Artists with the New People Artist Series

Six Films Show The Passion And Inspirations Of Acclaimed Visual Artists Pushing The Boundaries Of Modern Art;
Theatrical And DVD Releases Planned

San Francisco, JULY 21, 2009 – VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has licensed a series of six new documentaries –The NEW PEOPLE Artist Series which will profile several prominent Japanese modern artists who tap their unique imaginations and pop-inspired visual styles to create captivating works of art.

The NEW PEOPLE Artist Series documentaries include TRAVELING WITH YOSHITOMO NARA, YAYOI KUSAMA: I LOVE ME, DAIDO MORIYAMA: STRAY DOG OF TOKYO, HISASHI TENMYOUYA: SAMURAI NOUVEAU, MAKOTO AIDA: CYNIC IN THE PLAYGROUND and KATSURA FUNAKOSHI: WHISPERING GAZE. The films will be screened at the new VIZ Cinema in San Francisco as part of the fall program titled LIFE ≈ ART (For more details, please visit The films are scheduled to be released on DVD and will be distributed by VIZ Media beginning late 2009 and continuing into 2010. For more information, please visit

“We are very proud to announce these insightful documentaries which highlight some of the most important Japanese modern artists working today,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures and the founder of NEW PEOPLE. “From the manga-inspired graphic pop art of Yoshitomo Nara, to the outlaw persona of Hisashi Temyouya, who blends graffiti and street style graphics with fine art, these visionaries are all icons of the Japanese contemporary art scene. The films show the passion, pain and ultimate creative vision that allow these individuals to push the boundaries of artistic convention and we look forward to presenting them to a U.S. audience.”

TRAVELING WITH YOSHITOMO NARA captures a journey that the artist Yoshitomo Nara took during the creation of his exhibit, AtoZ, in his hometown of Hirosaki, Japan. The film was directed by Koji Sakabe and narrated by actress Aoi Miyazaki, who also starred in the hit film NANA. (Scheduled DVD Release: Fall 2009)

YAYOI KUSAMA: I LOVE ME documents the creative process of avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama as she works to complete her new series of 50 large monochrome drawings. Directed by Takako Matsumoto (Scheduled DVD Release: Winter 2009).

DAIDO MORIYAMA: STRAY DOG OF TOKYO features the charismatic photographer, Daido Moriyama, who is known for his stark and contrasting black and white images that are symbiotic to his fervent lifestyle. (Scheduled DVD Release: 2010)

HISASHI TENMYOUYA: SAMURAI NOUVEAU introduces Hisashi Tenmouya, a contemporary painter and former graphic designer, acclaimed for his neo-traditional Japanese painting style that presents modern, urban street subjects rendered in a traditional Japanese style. Directed by Go Ishizaki (Scheduled DVD Release: 2010).

MAKOTO AIDA: CYNIC IN THE PLAYGROUND tells the story of Makoto Aida, and artist known for his diverse and controversial manga, paintings, and video installations. Directed by Yusuke Tamari (Scheduled DVD Release: 2010).

KATSURA FUNAKOSHI: WHISPERING GAZE features Katura Funakoshi, a visionary sculptor, known for his camphor wood carvings of human and human-like figures that feature his characteristic philosophical marble eyes gazing into the distance. Directed by Kenjiro Fujii (Scheduled DVD Release: 2010).

VIZ Cinema will be exclusively devoted to Japanese films and located in NEW PEOPLE, a dynamic entertainment destination, opening in San Francisco's Japantown on August 15th. NEW PEOPLE will bring the latest examples of Japanese popular culture to North America through film, art, fashion, and a variety of specialty boutiques.

About VIZ Pictures, Inc.:
Based in San Francisco, California, VIZ Pictures, Inc. licenses and distributes selective Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with focus on Japanese "kawaii (cute) and cool" pop culture. VIZ Pictures strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the "Kingdom of Pop" for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America. Some titles include DEATH NOTE, 20TH CENTURY BOYS, and TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO. VIZ Pictures is also the producer of NEW PEOPLE, a part of the J-Pop Center Project, a unique entertainment destination bringing Japanese pop culture through film, art, fashion, and retail products. For more information please visit or Phone: (415) 345-1975.
© 2009 VIZ Pictures, Inc.

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