Discover the extraordinary work of Japanese artist Chicara Nagata.
If you have trouble reading this email, click here to check the online version.
Dear Friends,

Recently at the M.A.D. Gallery, I was proud to unveil the extraordinary work of Japanese artist Chicara Nagata, who has devoted his entire life to the creation of motorcycle art.

Chicara travelled all the way to Geneva from Japan to present three of his unique creations. He had requested to be at the gallery when the three motorbikes were to be delivered. He was the only one allowed to open the wooden crates but in all honesty, he was the only one who knew how to open them.
Chicara’s motorcycles are like no other. You could ride them, they could perform on the road, but reducing these unique pieces of art to a simple means of transportation would be to miss the point of their creation entirely.

When the driver parked the 17-tonne truck in front of the M.A.D. Gallery – which is located on a steep street in Geneva’s old town – and left us with 770kg of encased motorbikes suspended nearly two metres off the ground, I’ll admit we weren’t too sure how next to proceed.

Thankfully, the artist himself was there. In his non-matching shoes and Chrome Hearts t-shirt, Chicara put his curly, grey hair in a ponytail and went to work, hammer in gloved hand. Through his translator, he gave us instructions on how to assist him in the task.

It took two hours to unpack the huge crates in the street, where even a police officer admitted he wouldn’t dare pulling over and giving a fine to the driver of one of the bikes!

Chicara installed his three motorbikes in the gallery and, for the next seven hours, cleaned and polished every square centimetre of each machine with cotton buds and a soft cloth, demonstrating an attention to detaiel that has to be seen to be believed.

But seven hours is nothing compared to the 7,000 or more hours he put into making each of these two-wheeled sculptures. In 2004, after three years of painstaking work, he completed Chicara Art One, which launched a series of unique pieces.

Chicara designs, manufactures and hand-assembles approximately 500 components made of steel, aluminium, chrome, brass and copper, to metamorphose vintage 1939-1966 motorcycle engines into works of mechanical art. The number of components he produces and the time he spends meticulously crafting each machine transcends them to a completely new dimension.

Chicara is a qualified graphic designer, so perhaps his obsession for detail should come as no surprise. In 1992 he set up Chicara, Inc. graphic design agency in Saga, Japan. But his ambition and passion for creating his own machines started when he was a teenager. His dream was almost ruined when he was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident at the age of 16. Ironically, he has since dedicated his life to the machine that almost killed him. According to Chicara, his art is an expression of gratefulness to the people who helped save his life… it is his way of giving a little something back.

Chicara started creating custom motorcycles in 1993. In 2004 he took his passion one step further, elevating his work to what can be considered an art form. That marked the beginning of his “Chicara Art” series, which rapidly won six consecutive awards at shows in Belgium, Germany and France, before Chicara garnered global recognition at the AMD Championship (the most recognised custom bike award worldwide) where he took first place for Chicara Art One in 2006 and second place the following year for Chicara Art Two, both in the freestyle class.

Born in 1962 on Kyushu Island, Chicara isn’t the biker you might imagine – a bosozoku – a member of a rebel Japanese bike gang, wearing leather, drinking beer and full of attitude. He is in fact a passionate artist who lives alone in his native Saga Prefecture, an 18-hour drive from Tokyo, where his strength and creativity are guided by his Zen-like attitude and spirituality.

Chicara has a favourite saying: GI GA SA KKO. This conveys his belief that what he does today and the reasons he does it will be considered as standard in art and mechanics a hundred years from now.

So please let me invite you to come see the simply incredible Chicara Art One, Chicara Art Three and Chicara Art Four, all showcased at the M.A.D. Gallery until February, 2013. With my very best regards,
Maximilian Büsser
Owner and Creative Director

Pleaseclick here to unsubscribe from this newsletter
Manage your preferences

Chicara Art One with a vintage 1939 Harley Davidson Engine- 1200cc.


Sketch of CA I – a piece he took over 7500 hours to complete


Chicara Art Three with a vintage 1950 Meguro Engine- 550cc.


Sketch of CA III- Meguro was a pioneer company for the bike industry in Japan that merged with Kawazaki in 1963


Chicara Art Four with a vintage 1966 Honda Engine- 50cc.


Sketch of CA IV – a piece he took 350 hours to complete and weighs no more than 70 kgs.


The interview Chicara did during his Geneva stay.


Chicara at work in his studio in Kyushu Island


Official portrait of Chicara Nagata