Thinking about Chicara Nagata’s motorcycles as a simple mean of transportation would be insane! You could ride them, you could perform on the road, but unfortunately, it wouldn’t be legally allowed.
For the past 20 years, this Japanese artist has been dedicating his entire energy to the creation of art pieces, most commonly known as motorcycles. An engine, that paradoxically almost killed him in a terrible accident at the age of 16. Chicara spent 8 months at the hospital fighting for his life. Thanks to multiple blood transfusions and doctors’ follow-ups, he was able to live. However, he keeps wondering why his life has been saved amongst others who didn’t survive similar accidents…
In 1992, Chicara is 21 and launches his own design studio he names ®Chicara Inc. before he starts creating custom motorcycles one year later. In order to honor the machines that nearly took his life away, he describes his art as an expression of gratefulness to the people who donated their blood and worked to save his life… his way to give back to society.
Chicara draws, crafts and assembles close to 500 components that he adds to a vintage engine, manufactured between 1939 and 1966.
The amount of pieces and time spent on each machine gives a completely different dimension to the motorcycle. His obsession for detail is not surprising when you know that he is a graphic designer who spent nearly 3 years into the completion of his first piece of art CHICARA ONE, he finished in 2004 after 7500 hours of work.
In 2004, he took his passion one step further, elevating his work to what can be considered an art form. He starts a series of unique pieces he names CHICARA ART- one to four- which makes him rapidly win 6 consecutive awards at shows in Belgium, France, and Germany before garnering global recognition at the AMDChampionship (the most recognized custom bike award worldwide.) Chicara Nagata became World Champion of Custom Bike design when he took the first place for CHICARA ART ONE in 2006 and the second place the following year with CHICARA ART TWO, both in the freestyle class of the AMD.
If you picture Chicara as a bosozoku- a member of a rebel Japanese bike gang, hairy, tattooed, driving around with a bad boy style you got everything wrong. Chicara is actually a peaceful and passionate artist who lives by himself in the Saga prefecture of Kyushu island, 18 hours away from Tokyo. His mind and power of creation are only driven by spirituality and zen attitude.
On Thursday, July 5th, 2012, at the M.A.D. Gallery, Chicara Nagata made the trip all the way from Japan to unveil three of his extraordinary creations in Geneva: Chicara Art I, III and IV.
In April of 2013, Chicara came back to pick up Chicara Art I and III as the IV was recently sold, but in exchange, delivered Chicara Art V in exclusivity at the M.A.D. Gallery.