Kads is at the center of the Japanese reggae painting scene and is a pioneer of live painting in the reggae world. Kads first encountered reggae in the late 80’s. He has been loving reggae music and creating art for over 20 years. While he was still in school, he began working as a graphic designer in Tokyo. Reggae music started to influence his work, and the rebel culture that forms the base of reggae music began to define his work in particular.
In 1988 he began working as an artist. He painted murals and combined live performances of painting with reggae music.
In 1992 he went to Jamaica for two months. The art and music encountered on the trip had a large influence on his work. Meeting Rastafarians during his time in Jamaica imbued his art with a clear direction.
In 1994 and 1995 Kads took a trip to Ethiopia and India. He created a mural at a Rastafarian commune in Shashemane, Ethiopia that is still there today. Back in Japan he had an art exhibition from where his Nyahbinghi oil painting spread around the world in poster form.
Kads continued holding exhibitions of his reggae art, giving live painting performances and doing graphic art for album and CD covers, logos, posters, and clothing. Through this work his name has become known throughout Japan.
Painting in front of an audience while listening to reggae music is Kads’ original style. He is a pioneer of live painting performances in Japan. In 2008, he created a series of popular live painting events called Live Painting SESSION.
In 2009 he published a picture book called Go To Jamaica based on his trip. The first printing sold out in Japan.
In the future he plans to give live painting performances overseas and publish a book of his graphic art that he has accumulated over the past 20 years.
Kads MIIDA is an artist who works with the theme of “to be free, to be a part of nature” to produce colorful works brimming with vitality.
He started to work as an illustrator during the latter half of the 1980s, while studying at Tokyo Zokei University. The core of his creative activity is painting—oil painting, acrylic painting, prints, and murals—although it runs the whole gamut. He also creates products such as clothing and household items; designs artwork for shop interiors, logos, and advertising; performs live painting in collaboration with a variety of musicians; and publishes picture books based on his own experiences.
While Kads MIIDA’s focus was on traveling overseas until the 2011 earthquake, he has since turned his attention to Japan, traveling the entire country to observe it afresh. Working with people who he has met in various places, he is striving to produce works that bear a message for the next generation. His 2013 solo exhibition, “Future Souvenir Exhibition,” focused on collaboration with Japan’s traditional craftsmen working in media such as lacquer or indigo dyeing.
In terms of painting, while a great deal of his production has worked with Japanese themes, he has recently adopted techniques from genres such as nihonga—Japanese style painting—as he works to expand his expressive range and sublimate his own concepts further.