Reflection, 2010

Yuji Hiratsuka

https://hudsongallery.net/artist/yuji-hiratsuka/

Yuji Hiratsuka was born in Osaka, Japan. He received a B.S. in Art Education from Tokyo Gakugei University, and degrees in printmaking from New Mexico State University (MA) and Indiana University (MFA). He is a professor of printmaking at Oregon State University. Hiratsuka has received numerous international awards. Since 2010 he has had 13 solo shows in the US, as well as in Korea, Canada and Northern Ireland.

Some of the public collections that include Hiratsuka’s art are The British Museum, Tokyo Central Museum, Panstwowe Museum in Poland; The House of Humor and Satire in Bulgaria, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cleveland Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, New York Public Library, The Library of Congress and The Smithsonian’s Museum of Asian Art.

I want my paintings to speak for themselves. I look for a certain power and simplicity in my work, images that work at a gut level which also invite a wry, humorous look at life. I like to challenge bland emotions and poke fun at sacred cows.The roots of my work are in expressionism; my influences are from everywhere: a childhood in West Africa, French political posters of May 1968, Topolski’s sketchbooks, Munakata’s woodcuts. I also admire Chinese brush painting with its object of capturing a single Zen moment in a few simple brush strokes.My themes are grounded in everyday life, in my experience of life as a woman. As an artist I like to work within the traditions of art and history, at the same time to play with its icons and stretch its boundaries. My subjects are landscapes and people, animals and flowers, dancers and musicians, a celebration of life.Art for me is not only about life but a way of adding to it, exploring it. I think with my brush. I think about the marks I make. I want to blow fresh air into established ways of looking at life and constantly to redefine myself and my relationship to the traditions of art.
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