It may sound like a cliche, but there is more to the works of contemporary British artist Julian Opie than first meets the eye. His simple renderings of faces, animals, landscapes and scenes from everyday life, with their black outlines and flat blocks of colour, and his outlines of faceless figures that sway across LED display screens belie a creative and intellectual process that is complex and multilayered. He creates his works using a computer - an undeniably contemporary tool which he describes as something 'always central' to what he does - but his inspiration comes from such sources as 17th and 18th century portraiture, ancient Japanese woodblocks, anime and ballet. Despite creating flat, two-dimensional works, he is fascinated by movement, especially human movement. '[William] Hogarth said that true human beauty is in movement - I'm not really sure what he meant by that but humans move until they are dead, even if it's gentle breathing - even if they are sitting and talking, their actions are usually animated, so depicting people in motion is realistic,' he said in a telephone interview from his studio in Britain. 'Even as a student, I was looking at ways to capture movement; it's nothing new, [Andy] Warhol was too, but with the advancement of technology, the problem is rather solved now.' Many of his works move, whether it is an eye blinking, a dancer gyrating, or a bird flying slowly in the far distance of landscape works. The Lisson Gallery, one of the most established galleries in Britain, will take part for the first time in ART HK 09 and, as a testament to his stature in contemporary art, Opie is the only artist they are exhibiting. Opie, who became well-known beyond art circles in 2000 when he designed the cover for British band Blur's 'best of' album, joined the Lisson Gallery 25 years ago and it remains his primary gallery, although he works with another 12 around the world, including SCAI The Bathhouse in Tokyo and, recently, with Kukje Gallery in Seoul. Thirty-five of his pieces from the past year or so will be on display focusing on his human figures and face portraits. Also on display are works from his series of Japanese landscape animations called Eight Views of Japan which Opie created in 2007. They comprise two or three computer LCD screens showing serene countryside scenes, often with a snowcapped Fuji mountain, blue sky, flowers, trees, birds or a small boat floating on water. Opie said he was fascinated with Japan, a culture he described as 'so particular and refined and with a body of art that portrays a lovely melancholy'. He draws inspiration particularly from old masters Utagawa Hiroshige and Kitagawa Utamaro. To create his Japanese landscape works, Opie took a trip to Japan, drove around with a GPS and took hundreds of photos which he then 'played with' on his computer in his studio. 'There is a mirroring in the GPS - as I move, it moves. My digital camera and computer act also as mirrors, and the information enters my studio as if in a series of mirrors. Then, as an artist, I process the information,' he said. 'While trying to view the real world, we feel a sense of confusion, but through art there is a processing of reality that allows us to see reality more clearly.' And, for Opie, computers are a tool to help us look at reality, engage with it, and enjoy it. Whether rendered by a pencil or a computer is just a matter of medium. 'The gentle movement of the birds in some of the pieces adds narrative without there being a story. It slows down the viewer - there are so many images out there, but with a slow movement, such as a boat crossing from left to right or birds circling in the distance, the image has time to enter the viewer's consciousness.' To retain the longevity of some of his works in a more tangible fashion, Opie has created an online shop, a move that helps to break down the boundaries between high art and commercial art. On sale is everything from note pads, rulers and ink stamps to three-piece jigsaws, hand-cut paper works and fridge magnets. 'Lots of my multiples works, such as my bookmarks and posters, disappear after gallery shows have finished, so it makes sense to have my own outlet. Opening the shop was mainly motivated by the frustration at the energy spent in creating these things being lost.'