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Scottish Whisky, Japanese culture and digital art coalesce in a cherry blossom inspired virtual gallery by Bafta Winning Artist Fantasista Utamaro

Scottish Whisky, Japanese culture and digital art coalesce in a cherry blossom inspired virtual gallery by Bafta Winning Artist Fantasista Utamaro

May 30th, 2023

There's no doubt that digitisation has made art more accessible than it's ever been before. Immersive experiences made possible through sophisticated installations and VR headsets have truly revolutionised what art is and how it's consumed.

Thanks to an exciting collaboration between Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky and Japanese artist Fantasista Utamaro, art is now available at an airport near you. Yes, you read that right. They've partnered to create a series of contemporary digital art installations inspired by cherry blossoms to mark the release of Grand Yozakura 29 year old scotch whisky.

House of Coco sat down with Japanese artist and Nexus Studios' Director, Fantasista Utamaro to find out more about this boundary pushing project.

HOC: How did this collaboration with Glenfiddich come about?

Fantasista: This art project was made in conjunction with the announcement of Glenfiddich’s Grand Yozakura. I created a time-lapse animation showcasing the process behind the creation of the artwork, inspired by the concept of blooming cherry blossoms at night.

HOC: Was it a challenge marrying your modern technicolour sensibilities with a brand that has such a traditional story and heritage?

Fantasista: The challenge was to showcase traditional Japanese art in a contemporary way and create a completely fresh look using the medium of time-lapse video. Vibrant colours inspired by Japanese pop culture were used within the traditional Japanese colour palette. I focused on creating my own expression and interpretation of the long-established Japanese minimalism in our history.

HOC: Why is it important for this work to be displayed in airports particularly?

Fantasista: Airports are places where people embark on journeys. When traveling, people tend to reflect more deeply on the destinations and time they are about to experience. Cherry blossoms only bloom for a few weeks a year in Japanese spring. The time-lapse artwork captures each fleeting moment as a significant process. I’d be thrilled if people visiting the airport could feel the beauty of their own precious moments through this artwork.

HOC: Who/ where do you get your inspiration from?

Fantasista: My inspiration comes from the idea of remaining unique and staying respectful. Art exists to foster free creativity within each individual’s heart. From a global perspective, Japanese culture has a distinct context. My ideas are inspired by manga, anime, and everyday scenes that I witness. As a global Japanese artist, I aim to create works that bring new perspectives to people.

HOC: What advice would you give an aspiring digital artist who wants to get their work seen and secure amazing partnerships like the one you’ve achieved with Glenfiddich?

Fantasista: As time progresses, the definition of artists and creativity also evolves. Therefore, I feel that there are no fundamental rules or advice regarding artistic expression. However, if we look at the long history of art and creation, one thing becomes clear: it is to continue loving creation no matter what. Love generates powerful energy and moves people’s hearts. Love is the heart of creativity. The question of why we are born into this world may remain, but artists find and cherish their own love, living it out as their creation.


The installations are appearing in major airports across April, May and June - the months when cherry blossoms are in peak bloom. Available to preview for travellers at select airport locations as well as in a virtual gallery, which can be viewed here.

Bandi Manzini

Bandi Manzini

Bandi Manzini has worked at some of the leading publications in the UK and she has earned her stripes. With her interests spanning from beauty to travel, she always delivers her content with a slice of melanin magic.