Acceptable in the 80s: Yoko Honda Takes Us Back

Taking inspiration from retro pop culture, this Japanese artist brings the disco era back to life.

With a range of inspired prints, vivacious color and youthful graphics, Yoko Honda is regularly sought after by the likes of Grain for swimwear design and is due to collaborate with  Club of Odd Volumes and Australia’s AFENDS. Meanwhile, further collaborative interest continues to grow, and opportunities in Paris are beginning to appear on the horizon.

This particular series of 80s inspired images are testament to her artistic knowledge and interpretive skills. Having grown up as a teen in this era, she was immersed in the art, movies, commercials and TV series that formed the distinctly recognizable flavor, color and style. Listening to the musical strains of a range of classics, the 80s moods return to mind and allow her to transfer these images from memory to print.

A painter at heart, Honda also uses Photoshop to amplify her prints with a strong, modern punch that simultaneously exaggerates the old-school vibes and catapults the designs into the 21st Century. Hoping to inspire feelings of nostalgia and love in her audience, Honda pulls on the heart strings of those who long for the lost era with gentle nods to pop cult trends of motels, Michael Jackson (circa “Thriller”) and playful tacky shades of Boogie Nights that make us yearn for a disco pool-party where it was completely acceptable to wear feather boas, sequins and heels.

Having lived through it, she takes her experiences and interests and manages to effortlessly transport us back to this time without the usual pitfalls of “vintage” stereotypes. With a fun, fresh and youthful perspective, Honda builds the people of this era without directly depicting them. Abandoned lilos, mirrors and iconic posters hung on the walls allude to the people who lived and enjoyed the glitz and glamor of a very particular 80s lifestyle that is fondly remembered. By capturing the Hollywood movie feeling of the decade, her stills feel like film sets captured through the smoky lens of a well-loved Polaroid.

Yoko’s 80’s inspired illustrations can be found in Summertime Love, by Belly Kids. Throughout the 28 pages she has created an entire fictional town, bursting at the seams with decorative 80s interiors, which will allow you to fully explore and enjoy her creative, animated mind.

Image copyright: Yoko Honda