Yuichi Hirako (JP)
Yuichi Hirako (b. 1982 in Okayama, Japan) graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in London. He lives and works in Tokyo. Since his graduation from Wimbledon College of Art in 2005 he has had numerous national and international exhibitions in museums like The Museum of Modern Art (Gunma) in Japan, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, The Museum of Kyoto and Temporary Contemporary in London. He has received several awards for his work, including VOCA 2013 (Vision of Contemporary Art), Tokyo Wonderwall Prize 2010 and Shell Art Award 2009.
The universe of Yuichi Hirako is a world of hybrids, where different characters move floatingly between plant and human shapes, and where plants are a dominating force of nature. In the 16th century the renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted imaginative portraits bundled by flowers, fruit or vegetables. In Hirakos paintings these portraits seem to have been given bodies and to wander about in a fantasy universe.
Hirakos art does not only show the meeting between nature and man, it´s also a meeting of western and eastern ideas. I Japan plants were once given a divine status, a phenomenon called Shinboku. In western fairytales the woods were given a different meaning; here the woods were inhabited by trolls, witches and other creatures. Hirako gives the woods both a magical but also a dark and threatening touch, he divides the colour palette into two equal sizes between the light and dark.