Hisahiro Fukasawa


About the artist:


Things that have lasted hundreds of years have a certain majesty to them. I feel that the stately beauty borne from weathering time and tide is something that “novelty” cannot mimic. I studied graphic design, which was how I got to learn about different types of art. I started painting after becoming influenced by painters from the Muromachi Period to the Edo Period (1336 - 1868). I remember vividly being lost in the spatial composition and spectacular world of flowers and birds that they created in their art. Now, I would like to update that world of flowers and birds, and create a new world that retains the essence of Japaneseness, yet is light enough to blend in with modern spaces. I have blended classical beauty from before the Edo Period with the lightness of modern graphic visuals to form a new kind of harmony.

Work descriptions

“Stillness and Colors”

My works can largely be separated into two categories. Quiet gray tone works and works that use metal leaf and vivid colors.

My gray tone works are called “Tranquility.” I give these works a stillness and a deepness reminiscent of India ink without actually using India ink itself. At the same time, I use gray gradations that give a feeling of transparency to add a modern lightness to these works.

At the time when I started painting this series, my life was such that I was constantly exposed to the noise (stress) characteristic of an urban city. I felt that the tall buildings and crowded residences were ruinous.

It may have been that the acts of painting and looking at Tranquility, were meditative attempts to purify the noise and regain my concentrations.

My works that use metal leaf and vivid leaf are a mix of classical Japanese art and graphic design. I incorporated dazzling, pop art-esque, and vigorous showiness into these works by adding color composition and objects made using straight and curved lines reminiscent of modern graphic design to drawings full of gold and silver decorations that were typically found on fusumas and folding screens in the Muromachi era and the Edo period.

When I was in my 20s, I worked as a graphic designer. Graphic design is a way of visually conveying information clearly to the watcher. In order to get people to understand the information in an instant even as they process a vast amount of information with their eyes as they go about their day, we

pay attention to balance and distort (simplify) shapes. The resulting objects appeared rational and modern to me. In the first place, you can see several distorted expressions similar to those found in graphic design in classical Japanese art. I think that this is where our affinity to modern design lies.

“A Mix of Different Values”

I find it enjoyable to mix different values together. Classical and modern, Western and Eastern, two-dimensional and three-dimensional, as well as the use of different materials. Making these opposing forces coexist is very stimulating. It may be that I think of these as two sides of the same coin.

“Decorative Value”

There is a decorative value that can be found in classical Japanese art comprised of things like patterns, gold and silver leaf, the glimmer of natural mineral pigments, and compositions that appear to be flowing. This decorative value was created by artists of olden days. This decorative value is a unique characteristic of Japanese art, which is already regarded as curious in the world. The first thing that came to mind when I thought of a modern response to this classical decorative value was “fashion.” The camouflage patterns used for the flowers in my leaf works serve as my modern response to classical patterns. I also think that the shine of materials used in jewelry like diamonds, crystal glass, and sequins is another form of modern decorative value. The crowded grains that I draw using a pencil in my Tranquility Series are the result of me attempting to generalize this shine and make it coexist with classical Japanese art.